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Commissioner�s Smoke Alarm Checking Safety Message

Published: 15th March 2006

Over the past year, many residents in NSW have suffered the loss of their homes and possessions as a result of fire. Unfortunately, fire has also caused some residents serious injury or even a loss of life.

There are a number of steps that you can take to protect you and your family and to be as prepared as much as possible in the event of a fire. One of the simplest and most effective is to ensure that you have operational smoke alarms in your home.

It can take only a few minutes for a fire to spread and engulf your home. The high pitched sound of the alarms will ensure that you and your family are woken up and able to escape as soon as possible.

On Sunday, 2 April 2006, we mark the end of daylight saving. When you change your clocks, take the opportunity to test smoke alarms and change the batteries, and, where necessary, install new or additional alarms.

There are a range of smoke alarms on the market, from inexpensive battery-operated alarms to hardwired systems. For only a few dollars you get peace of mind knowing that you and your family will have an early warming system in the event of a fire. You should also develop and rehearse an escape plan to ensure that you get out alive.

Smoke alarms will become compulsory in all places of residence from 1 May 2006, when the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Regulation 2006 takes effect.

Here are some things to be mindful of when installing or checking your smoke alarms:

  • Each home should have at least one smoke alarm installed on each level.
  • Only Australian Standard 3786 alarms should be used.
  • Batteries should be replaced according the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Special smoke alarms are available for the hearing impaired.
  • The NSWFB has a program for installing alarms and replacing batteries for older people. Information is available at local fire stations.

Contact your local fire station for further information or download our fact sheet.

The smoke alarm campaign is supported by Duracell.