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Change your Smoke Alarm Batteries


Change your smoke alarm batteries

When house fires start, only working smoke alarms provide the critical early warning needed to save lives and minimise property damage.

Taking the time to learn and adopt fire safety habits is the best way to prevent fires in your home.

To ensure smoke alarms work properly, DFES encourages householders to test smoke alarms monthly and change any batteries annually.

Every year on April 1, April Fools’ Day DFES promotes the day as a reminder to regularly change smoke alarm batteries at this time each year using a high-quality, long-life battery.

General tips

For householders without smoke alarms or who are thinking of upgrading, DFES recommends installing 240-volt mains-powered photo-electric smoke alarms by a qualified electrician. Click here for information about other types of smoke alarms.

  • Ensure installation of all smoke alarms is in line with the Building Code of Australia most manufacturers’ installation instructions are aligned to this code. Alarms should be securely fitted, double sided tape and Velcro is not acceptable
  • Smoke alarms should be located in all sleeping areas and all paths of travel between sleeping areas and exits to open air. Click here for more information about where to install smoke alarms
  • If you have smoke alarms with a changeable battery, you need to refer to manufacturer’s instructions. DFES recommends replaceable batteries are changed annually. In WA 1 April is widely publicised as the day to change your smoke alarm battery
  • If you have mains-powered smoke alarms, read the manufacturers’ instructions to check if they require back-up batteries that need changing. Some mains-powered smoke alarms have non-changeable batteries which do not require attention during the life of the smoke alarm.
  • All smoke alarms have a maximum service life of ten years and need to be replaced. Mains powered smoke alarms must be fitted by a licensed electrical contractor. DFES recommends mains powered photoelectric smoke alarms
  • All smoke alarms must be regularly tested (recommended monthly so occupants are aware of the emergency alert) – all smoke alarms have a test button
  • Smoke alarms must be clear of obstructions and not painted and DFES recommends removing any dust from the grille area with a soft brush attached to a vacuum cleaner

New smoke alarm legislation

Click here for smoke alarm legislative requirements.

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