Western Australians are
being reminded to check their smoke alarms today, as new research shows three
out of four people are unaware the life-saving devices require regular
The Department of Fire
and Emergency Services (DFES) encourages the community to inspect their smoke
alarms on April Fool’s Day every year to ensure the unit can provide the
critical early warning needed during a home fire.
Fire and Emergency
Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said only working smoke alarms protect
and save households in the event of a fire in a home.
“When you’re asleep,
you won’t see or smell the fire, which is why a working smoke alarm is so
important,” Commissioner Klemm said.
“It is not enough to
just have a smoke alarm installed – regularly cleaning and testing the unit
could be the difference between life and death.”
A recent survey
conducted by DFES found that although 90 per cent of WA homes have smoke alarms
installed, most residents did not know how to maintain them.
The results concluded
that 75 per cent of respondents did not know smoke alarms had to be tested
every month and 58 per cent were unaware they needed to replace their smoke
alarms every 10 years.
Commissioner Klemm said
people should consider regular maintenance on their smoke alarm an important
part of maintaining any residential property.
“Press the ‘test’
button monthly, clean the dust from your smoke alarm every 6 months, and if
your smoke alarm has a replaceable battery, change it every year,” he said.
“I also urge you to
check in with your neighbours, especially if they are elderly or have been in
their home for many years and ask if they need help maintaining or inspecting
their smoke alarms.”
Of the 804 fires that
occurred at WA residential properties in 2020, nearly half of these homes did
not have a smoke alarm.
recommends the installation of mains-powered smoke alarms, which are a legal
requirement for homes subject to sale, rent or hire.
For more information on
how to install, maintain and inspect smoke alarms, visit the DFES website at www.dfes.wa.gov.au/smokealarms.
Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate
Communications 9395 9543.