Time change, battery change

The Country Fire Authority has called on residents to use their “bonus” hour this Sunday to ensure their home has a working smoke alarm and fire escape plan.

According to senior CFA members, 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.

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

“We’re asking Victorians to instead devote some of this time to protecting their homes and families from a house fire. “It only takes 10 minutes to check your smoke alarm batteries, and not much longer to talk with your family about what they would do if there was a fire,” Mr Ellis said.

He said in just moments a spark could become a “life-threatening blaze” so it was critical for Victorian households to implement their home fire escape plan quickly and confidently.

“Simple actions like getting down low and crawling under smoke save lives so it is important kids get involved.”

“Kids enjoy being involved in the process – changing the battery and pressing the test button. From there it’s a great opportunity to remind them of what the alarm is for and what actions to take when it goes off,” Mr Ellis said.

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

CFA recommends you:

? 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.

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