Change your clocks and your smoke alarm

Published: 1st April 2016

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Commissioner Greg Mullins today urged NSW residents to start thinking about replacing their smoke alarms ahead of the 10th anniversary of the introduction of smoke alarm legislation in NSW.

Each year, at the end of Daylight Saving, firefighters encourage NSW residents to change the batteries in their smoke alarms when they change their clocks.

Commissioner Mullins said this weekend firefighters were particularly encouraging NSW residents to start thinking about replacing their old, outdated ionisation smoke alarms.

"Sunday, 1 May is the 10th anniversary of the introduction of smoke alarm legislation in NSW which made it compulsory to have smoke alarms in all dwellings where people sleep," Commissioner Mullins said.

"Smoke alarms need to be replaced at least every 10 years, so why not use this opportunity to start thinking about replacing your outdated, 10-year-old smoke alarms.

"There could be millions of smoke alarms out there that are about to reach their 'use-by date' and they need to go.

"We're encouraging NSW residents to choose newer photoelectric smoke alarms that have 10-year lithium batteries.

"Photoelectric smoke alarms have fewer false activations and are more effective at detecting the types of fires that are most likely to result in a home fire death - smouldering fires."

In NSW, all dwellings must have at least one working smoke alarm per level. FRNSW recommends having smoke alarms installed in all bedrooms for maximum protection. Smoke alarms are also mandatory for all caravans, campervans, and other moveable dwellings where people sleep - even if the vehicle is kept off the road.

"Only working smoke alarms help save lives," Commissioner Mullins said. "A fire can take hold in just three minutes, filling your home with deadly smoke. A working smoke alarm gives you vital seconds to get out before you're overcome.

"Stay out of harm, replace your smoke alarms and ReAlarm your home against fire ahead of winter."

If you are a senior or a person with a disability and need help checking or replacing the battery in your smoke alarm, contact your local fire station and ask about the Smoke Alarm and Battery Replacement (SABRE) program.