John D'Orazio

John D'Orazio

Former Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Justice; Community Safety

    Time to change those smoke alarm batteries

    31/03/2006 1:00 PM
     
    31/3/06

    Emergency Services Minister John D’Orazio has called on all householders to change the batteries in their smoke alarms this Saturday, April 1.

    “Smoke alarms are proven lifesavers when fires in the home occur, but only when they work and people know what to do when they hear the alarm,” Mr D’Orazio said.

    “Tragically, four people died in house fires last year and Fire and Rescue Service firefighters attended 868 fires which caused more than $27million damage.

    “These are losses that would have been reduced if smoke alarms were installed and properly maintained in every Western Australian home.”

    The Minister said almost 70 per cent of homes in WA had either a battery-operated or mains powered variety of smoke alarm.

    “For the sake of a few dollars you can protect your loved ones from the devastating and potentially lethal impact of fires in the home,” he said.

    “I am urging all householders to replace their smoke alarm batteries this April Fool’s Day with a long lasting alkaline battery, or get a qualified electrician to change the batteries in their mains powered smoke alarm.”

    Mr D’Orazio said if householders did not have smoke alarms, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority recommended that they considered installing mains-powered smoke alarms.

    “Since 1997, hard-wired smoke alarms have had to be installed in all new homes and in homes being renovated,” he said.

    “The WA Government is committed to legislating for mandatory installation of smoke alarms in all other residential dwellings.

    “We will require that hard-wired smoke alarms are fitted by a property owner when the property is sold, or when a tenancy agreement is signed.

    “FESA and the Department of Housing and Works have continued to consult widely on these changes, with a proposed implementation date of July 1.”

    For more information on smoke alarms visit FESA’s website at http://www.fesa.wa.gov.au

    Minister's Office - 9213 7150