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Fire & Rescue NSW urges homeowners to check and change outdated smoke alarms

Janita Singh, NewsLocal

October 9, 2016 12:00am

THERE is no doubt a working smoke alarm saves lives. 

More than half of fatal home fires are at properties without a working smoke alarm, according to Fire & Rescue NSW figures.

As part of its recent ReAlarm campaign, homeowners are encouraged to not only change batteries and check if a smoke alarm works, but also replace any unit more than 10 years old.

Fire & Rescue NSW is urging residents to replace all outdated smoke alarms with the latest photoelectric alarms.

It’s been 10 years since NSW mandatory smoke alarm legislation was passed.

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins says the start of daylight savings is an ideal time to check your smoke alarms.

A working smoke alarm gives you vital seconds to get out of a burning house before you’re overcome with smoke.

Mullins says homeowners should not forget that it is a legal requirement in NSW for every home to have at least one working smoke alarm.

Fire & Rescue NSW also recommends installing smoke alarms in all rooms where people sleep and in hallways leading to sleeping areas.

Superintendent Michael Ollerenshaw from Fire & Rescue NSW says a fire can take hold in just three minutes, filling your home with deadly smoke.

NSW Fire & Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins says homeowners must remember it is a legal requirement for every home to have at least one working smoke alarm.

“And a working smoke alarm gives you vital seconds to get out before you’re overcome with smoke,” he says.

“You’re twice as likely to die in a home fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm.

“When you are asleep, you won’t smell smoke from a fire. The majority of these deadly fires occur between midnight and 6am (when people are usually asleep).

“Stay out of harm, replace your smoke alarms and ReAlarm your home against fire,” Ollerenshaw adds.

FIRE & RESCUE NSW RECOMMENDS

■ Installing photoelectric alarms, which are more effective at detecting the types of fire that are most likely to cause a home fire death — smouldering fires.

■ Every month: Test the smoke alarm.

■ Every six months: Clean alarm with a vacuum cleaner.

■ Once a year: if your smoke alarm has a removable alkaline battery, replace it. If your smoke alarm uses a lithium battery, it will not need replacing annually; the entire unit will need replacing every 10 years.

■ For details see: fire.nsw.gov.au

IN OTHER NEWS — House fire victim shares her story

HOUSE fire victim Linda Buchan shares her heart-breaking story and encourages people to ensure smoke alarms are installed in their homes. Courtesy: Fire & Rescue NSW.

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