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Use your extra hour to protect home and family.

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30 Mar 2012
MFB and CFA, in partnership with Duracell, are calling on Victorians to use their ‘bonus’ hour when clocks go back on 1 April to make sure their homes have a working smoke alarm.

“For most of us the end of daylight saving means an extra hour in bed,” said CFA Deputy Chief Officer Alan Ellis. 

“But importantly it is also a good reminder to ensure you have a working smoke alarm.  This is the time to replace the smoke alarm battery and potentially save your life.

“We’re asking all Victorians to protect their homes and families from a house fire. It only takes ten minutes to change your smoke alarm batteries, and not much longer to talk with your family about what to do if there was a fire.”

It can take less than three minutes – about the same amount of time to boil an egg – for a spark to become life-threatening fire which is a confronting reality for all families.

MFB Commander Frank Stockton said MFB attends hundreds of house fires each year and “unfortunately not everyone gets out alive”.

“The early warning from a smoke alarm can save your life,” he said.

“Without a working smoke alarm, residents are four times more likely to die in a house fire, 57 per cent more likely to suffer property loss or damage, and 25 per cent more likely to suffer serious injury.

 “A working smoke alarm is the least people can do to increase their protection and a $5 long-lasting 9-volt alkaline battery can help ensure year-round protection.”

Victoria’s fire services recommend the public:

· Use long-lasting 9V alkaline batteries to ensure year-round protection.

· Test smoke alarms once a month using a broom handle – the alarm should produce a beeping sound when the test button is pressed.

· Use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to dust around the smoke alarm.

· Install photo-electric smoke alarms rather than ionisation smoke alarms where possible.

·  Replace all smoke alarms (both battery powered and 240v hard-wired) after ten years. The year of manufacture is displayed on the alarm.

MFB and CFA has partnered with Duracell for more than ten years now to urge Victorians to change their smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks at the end of daylight saving.

For more information on the recommendations for smoke alarm usage and fire escape plans visit www.changeyourbattery.com.au.

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Facts and Features
Safety Tip

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) recommends monthly testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

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Its True

Only working Smoke Alarms save lives.

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