In 2006, the New South Wales Government introduced a new legislation that stated that all homes must have at least one working smoke alarm per floor. At least one smoke alarm needs to be installed between the kitchen and the bedrooms, so it can be heard during the night. A working smoke alarm can mean the difference between you and your family getting out of a burning house safely, or having a fire end in tragedy.
It’s crucial to make sure your smoke alarm batteries are in working order. Most smoke alarms will make a chirping noise every 30-60 seconds when their battery needs replacing. If you don’t hear a chirping sound, it’s still a good idea to check your smoke alarm’s battery on a monthly basis. The easiest way to do this is by using a broom handle to push the ‘test button’ on your smoke alarm. If the battery is in good condition, your smoke alarm will make a high-pitched sound. If the battery is low, the sound the smoke alarm emits will be weak or non-existent and the battery should be replaced straight away. Batteries usually last 1-2 years in smoke alarms.
According to Fire and Rescue NSW, smoke alarms should be replaced at least once every ten years, as they stop functioning as effectively over time and aren’t so sensitive. Fires can be incredibly unpredictable and fast-moving and ensuring that you have a working smoke alarm could be the one thing that saves you and your family’s life in the event of a fire. As technology evolves over the years, it’s also important to replace your smoke alarms so you have a smoke alarm with multiple sensor technologies.
The important maintenance tips to remember include:
Having a working smoke alarm is one of the most essential items you can have in your home. Unfortunately, fires can break out in the blink of an eye and most people are caught off guard. Having a smoke alarm warn you during the first signs of smoke will ensure that you and your family have a good chance of getting out of the home safely. Don’t underestimate the importance this little device holds!