Friday, 30 March 2012

Change your clock, change your smoke alarm battery on 1 April ~ Giveaway

A few years after I had moved out of my parent's home they had a kitchen fire (yes it was the CHIPS - and I think they disagreed on who left it on the stove ) - they had extensive internal damage to their kitchen , smoke and water damage to the rest of the house. They had to move out for over 6 weeks for repairs and cleaning.

wikipedia - not my parent's
They were lucky, no one was hurt and luckier still the local fire station was less than 2km away, so they arrived in minutes. It was frightening, hearing how quick the fire took hold at their home.

One day 6-7 years ago - I left meat pies cooking in a microwave convection oven where we worked, in the kitchen . I went outside to do something while it cooked. I suddenly heard the smoke alarm beeping madly ...both of us ran inside - the pie/maybe it was foil were alight inside the microwave - totally stuffed it too ! but  thankfully nothing worse happened than we also lost our lunch ! The smoke alarm had alerted me and I screamed for my husband !

In one of my jobs I regularly dealt with families who had loss everything due to fires and needed emergency accommodation in caravans on their properties for months, and even up to year.

When I was asked to post about changing your smoke alarm battery - I didn't hesitate for a minute.

By coincidence my husband had just installed three new smoke alarms. There where previously none , after I nagged asked him to do it - minutes hours before he had to travel to Sydney to work for 4 days.

NSW households (well everyone should)  are now being urged to revisit fire safety procedures as new research released by Duracell* reveals that 97% of Australian homes surveyed are not following the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) recommendations around home smoke alarms.

Australian fire services together with long-term partner Duracell, are advising residents to change their smoke alarm battery when they change their clocks – on Sunday 1 April, 2012 – in the lead up to this winter fire season, a high fire risk time.

"This weekend, when you change your clock at the end of Daylight savings, change your smoke alarm battery and make time to map out a home escape plan with your family" said Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins.
The Duracell Fire Safety Survey of Australian women aged 25-44 years old revealed:
  • over half of women do not know that a spark can become a life threatening blaze in less than 3 minutes....about the same time as cooking a piece of toast  
  • 68% of those surveyed either don’t know or don’t follow the recommendations for changing smoke alarm batteries,
  • 58% don’t know how to correctly test whether smoke alarms are working and 95% don’t know how often to test them
  •  Two thirds of homes surveyed are not changing their smoke alarm batteries yearly, as recommended by Australian fire services.
  •  Nearly a quarter of mums believe their children know more about fire safety than they do ???
  •  82% of working women have a fire escape plan at work, but only 11% have a planned and practiced one at home. 
  • In most households surveyed (55%) the plan is simply to get out as quickly as possible ; 17% don’t have a fire plan at home because they have never thought about it 
  •  Most married women claim their husband needs a reminder to prompt him to change batteries in the smoke alarms in the home. In most cases it’s the ‘low battery’ beep sound that acts as a reminder, but more husbands respond to a reminder from the wife (18%) than no prompting at all (9%).
NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said, "Smoke alarms provide an essential early warning in the event of a fire, giving you time to evacuate safely – but only if they work. This is particularly important for people living in remote or rural locations who need to consider the time it may take emergency services to reach them.#"

#This is particularly important to us now living 20 mins out of town. We also have a fire extinguisher up on the wall.

Fire & Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service and Duracell recommend YOU:

  1. Test your smoke alarm (by pressing the ‘test’ button) once per month to ensure the battery and the alarm sounder are operating and clean with a vacuum cleaner annually to remove particles that will affect smoke alarm performance
  2. Replace the battery annually with a long-lasting 9V alkaline battery
  3. Install smoke alarms in positions that will wake all occupants in the home and give them time to evacuate. For example,installing the alarms 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.
  4.  Develop a home escape plan and practice it regularly. 
Especially practice with your children - at school my boys they had a safety day 2 weeks ago. They came home to tell me what they had learned . The RFS visited the preschool last September too.

This weekend take 10 minutes and have a fire drill with your family. Teach them to feel for heat at the door before opening, stay low to the floor because apparently smoke kills more people than fire, etc -  this weekend a Fire Plan is top of my list. {Hubby & I have talked about it because we have both doors at the front away from the bedrooms and only have windows to exit from...we need to make sure the kids know}

A working smoke alarm is your best defense against fire so when you Change your clock, change your smoke alarm battery on 1 April  !

For more information on the recommendations for smoke alarm usage and home escape plans visit

To locate your nearest fire station go to
For NSW RFS please click here.

* Research was conducted nationally by Galaxy Research, on behalf of Duracell, in January, 2012. A total of 1265 women between the ages of 25 – 44 were surveyed

Did I mention our 18yr son is now training as a Fire technician (?I think it is his title) he inspects Fire extinguishers, equipment and fire safety systems at business premises. Now the twins also want to be fireman :).

One winner will receive:

-        Duracell Fire fighter bunny, valued at $60

-        A smoke alarm, valued at $20

-        Colouring in posters, magnets, and temporary tattoos. 

-        Duracell AA Batteries (for the bunny), valued at $10

-        Duracell 9V Batteries (for the smoke alarm), valued at $10 

-        Fire Brigade Kids – an Activity and Colouring in Book – valued at $7.95

Australian residents only
Closes 10th April 2012
To enter -

Tell me how your family is fire prepared ?

Winner - Belinda