Check your batteries on April Fools’ Day is the message from firies across the country. Fire chief Paul Kelly talks through the best way to install smoke alarms in the home with Stan Sheppard.
Check your batteries on April Fools’ Day is the message from firies across the country. Fire chief Paul Kelly talks through the best way to install smoke alarms in the home with Stan Sheppard. VALERIE HORTON

Be alarmed if you find duds

DON’T be an April Fool, say our firies – change your smoke alarm batteries no later than April 1.

“The Qld Fire and Rescue Service is leading the charge with battery people Duracel in getting Fraser Coasters to remember to check out their smoke alarms on April Fool’s Day,” Maryborough station officer Paul Kelly said.

“One in five Australians actually take down or remove the battery in their alarm when it’s accidentally triggered by cooking.

“Many people lose their lives as a result of not having working smoke alarms. We want Fraser Coasters to change theirs every year – even if they are long-lasting – and if not, then start changing them from next April 1.”

In between battery changes, vacuum around your alarms to clean the vents and do that more regularly if you live without screens and have lots of bugs coming inside, says local Fire and Rescue Service community liaison officer Neil Kaminski.

“Over 90 per cent of people now install smoke alarms between Caloundra, Bundaberg, Monto and Kingaroy, which is our district, but it’s vital that people realise if for instance they have a master bedroom at one end of the house and the other bedrooms down the other, they need two alarms.

“Alarms also must be mounted at the internal staircase access if that’s the path of the way out of the house.”

Last year, Mr Kelly said, there were more than 1850 residential fires in this state, with most house fires taking place between 9pm and 6am.

“Not only do we want Fraser Coast residents to change their batteries on April 1, we want them to test their alarms monthly by pressing the test button with a broom handle.

“People who sleep with their door closed should have an alarm in their bedroom and those with a hearing impairment need to be alerted by vibrating pads or a strobe light if a fire starts.”

Mr Kaminski said that in a rental property it was the tenants’ responsibility to regularly clean and test smoke alarms.



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