Change your clock and check your smoke alarm

By Simon Ruppert

CFA is urging everyone in Benalla and District to check that their smoke alarms are in working order when daylight saving ends at 2 am this Sunday.

CFA is concerned some households may not know if their smoke alarm would alert them in the event of a fire.

The end of daylight savings is a great reminder to check the battery and to check if the unit is more than 10 years old.

It is also important that people check the location of their smoke alarms. Most fatal fires start in lounge rooms and bedrooms.

Some of these tragedies may have been able to be prevented by having working smoke alarms in the right places.

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CFA recommends smoke alarms be fitted in all sleeping and living areas; this is your best chance of an early notification and escape, regardless of where a fire starts.

It is also a good idea to have interconnected smoke alarms, so that when any of the alarms is activated by smoke, all smoke alarms will sound to alert occupants of a fire.

CFA District 22 Operations Manager Tony Owen said smoke alarms were crucial safety devices that saved lives and prevented millions of dollars in property damage.

“A working smoke alarm can save your life in the event of a fire,” Mr Owen said.

“We recommend 10-year lithium-battery smoke alarms because that means you don’t need to change batteries every year.

“But regardless of your type of smoke alarm, don’t just forget about them once you’ve installed them.

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“It’s important to test them every month by pressing the test button and to maintain them by cleaning the smoke alarm unit each year.

“If your smoke alarms aren’t working properly, you could miss a warning sign that could save the lives of you and your loved ones.”

Smoke alarms are compulsory in all Victorian homes. Residential tenants are responsible for regularly cleaning and testing smoke alarms in their homes and to report any faults to the landlord or agent.

If a fire occurs, get out and stay out, and phone triple zero (000).

● For more information on how to protect yourself and your family from house fires, visit your local CFA Brigade or the CFA website at this link.