It’s Winter and house fires are more common in the Winter months due to the use of heaters, fireplaces and other electrical warming devices. So it needs to be recognised that NOW is a good time to either purchase a smoke alarm (if you don’t own one already) or check your smoke alarm to ensure it is working correctly. House fires kill over 100 people each year in Australia alone, and two thirds of those deaths caused by fire, take place in properties WITHOUT smoke alarms. A new service called “Alarm Reminders” has been launched as a direct result of these statistics. How does it work? Alarm Reminders sends text messages or emails reminding people to check their smoke alarms check their batteries and replace expired alarms. The service is completely free and you can register at AlarmReminders.org.au.
Some interesting facts…
- House fires are more common in the winter months when people are using fireplaces, heaters and other electrical equipment. The time to check your smoke alarm is now.
- Most deaths occur between 9pm and 6am, and it only takes about 3 to 4 minutes for a fire to completely envelop a house. While sound can disrupt sleep, scents cannot. A sleeping person is incapable of smelling smoke and therefore cannot detect a fire.
- Many people make the mistake of deactivating their smoke alarm while cooking or when it starts beeping. You must never do this, as it’s extremely common for us to forget to replace it.
- Smoke alarms have a 10-year life span. If your alarm is more than 10 years old it needs to be replaced. If you’re not sure how old they are, replace them. Every fire authority in Australia strongly recommends photoelectric smoke alarms.
- 58.47% of people think smoke alarms should be checked yearly. This is wrong – smoke alarms should be checked monthly.