Turn your clocks back and check your smoke alarms - that's the message CFA and Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) are advising Victorians this weekend.
Daylight saving officially ends at 3am on Sunday 3 April 2022, and while it does mean Victorians will get an extra hour of sleep, it also comes with a timely reminder from firefighters who are encouraging Victorians to check all the smoke alarms in the home when they turn back their clocks one hour.
Checking your smoke alarm involves pressing the ‘test’ button to ensure it’s in working order, and cleaning it with a duster, vacuum cleaner or gentle wipe to remove particles that could impact its performance.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said it is vital for families to conduct this life-saving check because only working smoke alarms save lives.
“If there is a fire in your home, a working smoke alarm can allow you to evacuate early and survive,” he said.
“We know that many fatal fires start at night and the smell of smoke won’t wake you up – so ensuring your smoke alarms are working is crucial to protect you and your family,” he said.
Fire Rescue Commissioner Ken Block said it was also important to clean smoke alarms regularly.
“There’s no point having a smoke alarm installed if it isn’t working – a smoke alarm that is properly maintained can save your life if there is a fire,” he said
“It will only take a few minutes to clean and then test your smoke alarm by pushing the test button. It’s a small step you can take to ensure your smoke alarms will work when you need it most.
“Regardless of the type of smoke alarm you have, all smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years,” Commissioner Block said.
When checking, installing or replacing your smoke alarms, FRV and CFA recommend:
- Smoke alarms should be installed in every living area, hallway and bedroom.
- Test your smoke alarm every month by pressing and holding the test button until the smoke alarm beeps three times.
- Clean your smoke alarms every year by dusting, vacuuming or gently wiping around the cover to clean it so it will sound if there is smoke.
- All smoke alarm units (including those attached to mains power) should be replaced every 10 years, and it is best to replace with hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms. Otherwise, replace your smoke alarms with a unit that has a 10-year lithium battery in a tamper proof chamber.
- Smoke alarms should be interconnected so that when any alarm activates, all smoke alarms will sound.
- If you have 9-volt batteries in smoke alarms, the batteries must be replaced every year.