DFES - Department of Fire and Emergency Services
000 for fire or life threatening emergencies
132 500 for SES emergency assistance
13 DFES (13 3337) for emergency information
General enquiries | Hearing or speech impaired contacts
SHARE: Refer this page to a friend

Media Release

Stay safe with a working smoke alarm
Friday 1 April 2016 – 9:30 AM

Stay safe with a working smoke alarm

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) is urging people to ensure their smoke alarms are working, with cooler temperatures meaning a greater risk of house fires.

Last year, 606 accidental house fires in Western Australia resulted in millions of dollars damage and countless injuries.

DFES Fire Investigation and Analysis Unit District Officer Andrew Duckworth said the proper maintenance of smoke alarms could drastically improve the safety of your home and family.

“Having a smoke alarm is the first step to keeping your home safe but this alone is not enough,” District Officer Duckworth said.

“A smoke alarm can only be effective if it is well maintained and working properly.

“Changing the battery every year and ensuring your alarms are cleaned and tested every month could save your life.”

DFES recommends mains-powered smoke alarms, which are a legal requirement for homes subject to sale, rent or hire.

All smoke alarms, regardless of the type or model, should be replaced every 10 years.

District Officer Duckworth said smoke alarms were essential early warning devices that could alert people to a house fire, giving them precious time to escape. 

“Smoke alarms don’t prevent fires, but a working smoke alarm can be the difference between surviving a house fire or not,” he said.

For more information on smoke alarms and home fire safety visit the DFES website at www.dfes.wa.gov.au.


Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955

Extra Information:

  • DFES recommends mains-powered photoelectric smoke alarms. 
  • All smoke alarms, including mains-powered alarms, must be replaced every 10 years.
  • It is important to know which type of smoke alarm you have and whether you need to replace its battery. 
    • If your smoke alarm is powered by a 9V alkaline battery you need to replace the battery every year. 
    • ​Most mains-powered smoke alarms have a battery back-up which may or may not need replacement depending on the type. You should refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. 
    • If your smoke alarm is powered by a 10 year non-removable lithium battery, you won’t need to replace the battery.
  • ​Test your smoke alarm monthly by holding down the test button until you hear an alert sound. 
  • Clean your smoke alarms monthly using a vacuum cleaner to remove any build-up of dust, cobwebs or insects.


 Your feedback on this content is appreciated

Was this information useful?