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Media Release

People of WA putting themselves in danger
Tuesday 20 March 2012 – 11:00 AM
Fire and Rescue Service firefighters are urging people to change their smoke alarm battery to help prevent people dying in house fires.


Five people died in residential fires in WA last year and these deaths could have possibly been prevented with a working smoke alarm. 
Research has revealed that people in WA are not taking action with only two percent testing smoke alarms often enough and 75 percent not changing their battery annually, the highest rate of complacency in the country.
Sunday 1 April is “Change your smoke alarm battery day” and firefighters are urging the community to change their smoke alarm batteries as only working smoke alarms save lives.
Acting Manager Fire and Investigation Analysis John Haddon recommends people use the next two weeks to test their smoke alarms, buy new batteries and develop a home escape plan with the family.
“We see devastating house fires every year. Sadly, not everyone gets out safely,” Mr Haddon said.
“In some cases, this is due to smoke alarms not working properly as they have been disconnected or have a flat battery.
“Worse still, some homes don’t have a smoke alarm installed at all.
“When asleep, we may not smell smoke but we will hear a smoke alarm. A working smoke alarm can literally mean the difference between life and death.
“We’re urging all Western Australians to get prepared before Sunday 1 April and ensure we head into the winter season as safely as possible,” he said.
  • Test your smoke alarm (by pressing the ‘test’ button) once per month to ensure the battery and the alarm sounder are operating and clean with a vacuum cleaner annually to remove particles that will affect smoke alarm performance
  • Replace the battery annually with a long-lasting 9V alkaline battery
  • Install smoke alarms in positions that will wake all occupants in the home and give them time to evacuate.  For example, installing the alarms outside each sleeping area, with additional smoke alarms installed inside bedrooms where doors are closed at night and along evacuation routes if bedrooms are located upstairs.
  • Replace your smoke alarms after ten years, all smoke alarms including mains powered have a maximum service life of ten years and need to be replaced.
  • Have a practiced home escape plan.
For more information about smoke alarms, batteries and home escape plans click here
*Research was conducted nationally by Galaxy Research, on behalf of Duracell in January 2012.


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