Keysborough Fire Brigade

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Home Community Safety Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarms

Working smoke alarms provide vital early warning in the event of a fire. When people are asleep, they can’t smell smoke. Smoke alarms are essential to wake people if a fire breaks out; they give occupants early warning and time to evacuate safely.

Fire Facts

  • There are about 11,000 house fires in Australia each year. In fact, one in five Australians will experience a house fire in their lifetime.
  • In Australia, more than 50 deaths are recorded each year as a result of accidental house fires. The majority of deaths occur between 9pm and 6am, and the elderly (people aged 65 and over) have a disproportionately higher fire death rate compared to the rest of the population.
  • House fires are more common in winter months, when people are using fires, heaters and other electrical equipment.

These tips will help to make sure your smoke alarms perform as intended - when you need them the most:

  • A short, low beep every 60 seconds indicates the battery power is low and the battery needs replacing. Change your smoke alarm batteries every 12 months on either April 1st (QLD, WA, NT) or at the end of daylight saving (NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS, SA), and use a long-lasting alkaline battery.
  • Smoke alarms should be tested monthly by pressing the test button with a broom handle.
  • Smoke alarms should be vacuumed regularly - at a minimum once a year - to clean the vents.
  • Mains powered smoke alarms also have back-up batteries - check with the manufacturer if your model has batteries that need to be replaced regularly, or whether it has a re-chargeable battery.
  • Fire Services recommend that you change your smoke alarm (both battery powered and 240v hard-wired types) after ten years as it may start to fail after this period. A year of manufacture date is displayed on all smoke alarms.