People urged to test smoke alarms in April
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) is reminding people this month that only working smoke alarms save lives.
It is not enough to have a smoke alarm, they need to be tested and cleaned regularly and replaced after ten years.
DFES Fire Investigation Officer John Haddon said that working smoke alarms have been proven as an effective early warning device during recent fires, helping to save lives and property.
“Recently, we have attended fires where a smoke alarm was the first warning people had to a fire in their house.
“The early warning provided by a smoke alarm helped people to get out of harm’s way and call firefighters before their house was destroyed.
“A fire can take hold in a building within minutes. It is a harsh reality but having a working smoke alarm could be the difference to your loved ones surviving or not during a fire emergency.”
Research has shown that the majority of people have smoke alarms installed but most do not realise that they need to clean and maintain their smoke alarms regularly.
“All smoke alarms should be cleaned and tested monthly to ensure they are working properly,” Fire Investigation Officer Haddon said.
“The responsibility belongs with you to ensure your loved ones are protected by having a working smoke alarm in your home.”
Last year there were 670 accidental or cause unknown house fires in WA and a number of people suffered serious injuries, with one death.
DFES recommends installing smoke alarms in all bedrooms, living areas and along the path to an exit.
If you do not have a smoke alarm or are upgrading, DFES recommends installing mains powered photo electric smoke alarms.
For more information about smoke alarm requirements and maintenance visit the DFES website at www.dfes.wa.gov.au.
Media Contact: DFES Media and Public Affairs 9225 5955