Remember batteries in your smoke alarm as you turn the clock back

Copyright 2006 The Federal Capital Press of Australia PTY Limited
All Rights Reserved

By Tamara Glumac
Canberra Times

It is a simple thing, yet it could mean the difference between life and death if your house goes up in flames.

Remember to change the batteries and ensure the smoke alarm works when you turn back the clock tonight to mark the end of daylight saving.

The ACT Fire Brigade is making that plea to residents as part of a week-long fire safety campaign.

And the message was taken to Torrens Primary School yesterday, where firefighters delivered a fire education presentation to about 60 Year4 students.

The youngsters were encouraged to take the fire safety message home, and were even given batteries to remind their parents to attend to their smoke alarms.

ACT Fire Brigade station officer Russell Cameron said the value of a working smoke alarm could never be over- estimated.

While asleep, a person's sense of smell was diminished, and smoke could put them into a deeper sleep. "The most important thing to do in a house is ensure you have a working smoke alarm near the sleeping area of the home.

"A screaming smoke alarm can save your life. Without it, the smoke from a fire can kill you quicker than the flames."

In the 12 months to March, the ACT Fire Brigade attended 314 building and structural fires in the territory.

There were about 11,000 house fires in Australia each year, claiming the lives of about 120 people.

Recent research found that just over half of householders replaced the batteries in their smoke alarms routinely.

Torrens Primary School assistant principal Antony Brown said students had engaged well with the fire safety presentation. "It has raised their awareness of the potential dangers of not replacing batteries in smoke detectors," he said. "They have also learned fire safety precautions - what to do in the event of a hazard."

For further information, visit the website or contact the ACT Fire Brigade.  

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