2018 Daylight Saving
DST End (Clock Backward) Sunday, April 1, 3:00am (First Sunday of the month)
DST Start (Clock Forward) Sunday, October 7, 2:00am (First Sunday of the month)
Daylight saving is not observed in Queensland, the Northern Territory or Western Australia
Smoke alarms save lives by giving you and your family an early warning if a fire starts in your home. In fact, in the event of a house fire you’re four times more likely to die if your home doesn’t have a working smoke alarm. That’s why it’s essential that you not only have smoke alarms installed in your home, but that you also keep them in good working order. By performing some simple checks and keeping up regular maintenance, you’ll make sure they’re working effectively and are ready to spring into action if they’re ever needed.
Check and Change Batteries
It’s fast and easy to test all your smoke alarms every month to make sure they are working. Use a broom handle to press the test button - if it beeps, the batteries are good, if not change them immediately. Also, keep your alarms clean by giving them a vacuum often to keep the dust and dirt out.
Once a year, change the batteries in all your smoke alarms - even if they’re hard-wired you’ll still need to replace the back-up battery. You’ve probably heard the saying “change your clocks, change your smoke alarm batteries” - and it’s a good yearly reminder to get it done! So, when daylight savings ends and you move the clocks back an hour, put new batteries in all your smoke alarms too.
Replace After 10 Years
All smoke alarms, whether ionised or photoelectric, hard-wired or battery operated, are manufactured to a standard that requires them to have an effective life of 10 years. After this time, their efficiency can be compromised or they may malfunction. This is because of the long-term effects of accumulated dust, insects and other airborne contaminants, or from corrosion of the electrical circuitry.
The use by date, or date of manufacture, should be stamped on the alarm, so check this yearly when you change your batteries. If any of your alarms are 10 years old replace them straight away.
When you need to replace your alarms, we recommend you choose a photoelectric smoke alarm. Photoelectric alarms are more effective than ionised alarms at detecting a wider range of fires, including smouldering fires and thick smoke. You could also choose a photoelectric alarm with an in-built 10-year lithium battery, which means you won’t need to worry about changing the battery every year.
As an additional safety measure, if possible install interconnected smoke alarms. That way if a fire breaks out at one end of the house and triggers an alarm, all the other alarms in the house will go off too – so no matter where you are in your home, you’ll always get a warning. This is especially important if your children’s bedrooms are in a different wing to yours, as studies have shown that 85 per cent of sleeping children don’t wake to the sound of a smoke alarm. When you have interconnected alarms, you can sleep easy knowing any alarms that are triggered will sound throughout the house.
Keep Your Family Safe
Working smoke alarms are the first – and most important – step in a successful home fire safety plan. For the best protection, install interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms outside each bedroom, and on every storey of your house. Check they are working every month and when you change your clock at the end of daylight savings, change your smoke alarm batteries too.
Talk to everyone in your household about your fire escape plan, and review it yearly. When you have working smoke alarms, the right set-up and a well-rehearsed emergency escape plan, you give everyone in your family the best chance to get out safely if a house fire ever occurs.
Over to You
Have you got any smoke alarm tips you’d like to share? Or a question about installing and maintaining smoke alarms in your home? Post your comments below!
Download The Change Your Clocks Check Your Smoke Alarm Smoke Alarm Checklist
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