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Is your smoke alarm ready for retirement?
If your smoke alarm is more than a decade old, it may belong in a museum, not on your ceiling.
In the lead up to the end of daylight savings, MFB and CFA are warning the community that out of date smoke alarms could be a liability in an emergency.
All smoke alarms have a 10-year life span and need to be replaced or they may not work when you need them most.
MFB Acting Chief Officer Paul Stacchino said while most people know to change their smoke alarm batteries at the end of daylight savings, many were unaware that smoke alarms themselves had an expiry date.
“In a fire, only a working smoke alarm can save your life,” he said.
“We believe that some Victorians have never replaced their smoke alarms and that is concerning.
“Smoke alarms are designed to wake you when a fire starts to provide you and your family with the earliest possible warning to get out safely.
“If your smoke alarms aren’t working properly, you may miss that vital early warning sign that could save the lives of you and your family.”
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said both CFA and MFB recommend installing hardwired 240 volt ten-year photoelectric smoke alarms with a long-life lithium battery in a tamper proof chamber.
“When installed and maintained correctly these smoke alarms detect smoke the quickest, giving you more time to evacuate,” he said.
“If you don’t have a working smoke alarm in your home and a fire occurs, you are four times more likely to die and 26 per cent more likely to suffer serious injuries. “If you do choose to use a 9volt battery smoke alarm, the battery will need to be replaced every year.
“A good reminder is doing it every year at the end of daylight savings.
“This year on Sunday, 2 April, make sure you check the age of your smoke alarms and retire them if they are 10 years or older. Replace them with a Photoelectric Smoke Alarm, and remember to practise your Home Fire Escape Plan.”
Bunnings is once again supporting Victorian fire services by sharing important home fire safety messages in all of their Victorian stores this week. On Saturday 1 April CFA and MFB brigades will be available in a number of the stores assist with any questions.
For more information about smoke alarms, visit http://www.mfb.vic.gov.au/Community/Home-Safety/Smoke-Alarms.html or http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/smoke-alarms/.
Bunnings stores which will have MFB or CFA in store are:
- Caroline Springs
- Mill Park
- Notting Hill
- Oakleigh South
- Port Melbourne
- Taylors Lakes
- Vermont South
- Waurn Ponds
- West Footscray