Senior Firefighter Graeme Mitchell with a smoke alarm and fresh battery.
Senior Firefighter Graeme Mitchell with a smoke alarm and fresh battery. Blainey Woodham

Don’t be a Fool, check your fire alarms campaign

TAKING two minutes out of your day to potentially save your family's and your own life doesn't seem too difficult.

That's why the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) is pushing their Don't be a Fool campaign for people to change their smoke alarm batteries this April Fool's Day.

Bilinga Fire Station Officer Rikki Jackson said it was a quick and inexpensive thing to do to prevent death on April 1.

"It's the cheapest form of insurance you can take out," he said.

Senior Firefighter Steve Smith said smoke would not wake you when you're asleep.

"You go straight into unconsciousness," he said.

"There's nothing in between and people need to realise that."

The fire-fighters suggested smoke alarms be installed in all bedrooms especially if there's one in the hallway and you sleep with the door closed.

Last year there were 11 lives lost to house fire in Queensland and a staggering 51 the year before.

"It takes less than five minutes to change a smoke alarm battery which is time well spent when it could result in a potential life being saved," QFRS Inspector David Sutch said.

The firefighters recommend the use of photoelectric smoke alarms and warned that not changing smoke alarm batteries and failing to maintain them can be just as deadly as not having one at all.

More tips:

  • Test their photoelectric smoke alarm monthly to ensure the battery and the alarm sounder are operating and clean their alarm with a vacuum annually to remove particles that could affect smoke alarm performance;.
  • Replace the battery annually. QFRS and Duracell recommend replacing with a long-lasting 9v alkaline battery.
  •  If residing in a rental property, call the rental property manager and ensure the building has correctly installed, maintained and working smoke alarms.
  • Install photoelectric smoke alarms in positions that will wake all occupants in the home and give them time to evacuate, for example, outside each sleeping area with additional smoke alarms installed inside bedrooms where doors are closed at night and along evacuation routes if bedrooms are located upstairs.


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