John Kobelke

John Kobelke

Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Community Safety; Water Resources; Sport and Recreation

    Don’t be a fool - change your smoke alarm battery on April 1

    31/03/2008 12:00 AM

    All Western Australians are urged to avoid being an April Fool by protecting themselves, their families and their homes by changing their smoke alarm batteries tomorrow, April 1.


    Emergency Services Minister John Kobelke said every second counted in a fire and the early warning of a smoke alarm could save lives and minimise property damage.


    “I urge all Western Australians to join with me in changing their alarm batteries tomorrow,” Mr Kobelke said.


    “Tragically, seven people lost their lives in residential fires in WA last year and the saddest part is that their deaths could possibly have been prevented.


    “There were more than 930 residential fires in WA last year costing millions of dollars and while preventing fires is always the best option, working smoke alarms offer protection from the dangers.”


    Householders should ensure smoke alarms are working properly by testing them each month and changing the batteries annually.


    The Minister said research by the Australasian Fire Authorities Council had found that the absence of a smoke alarm could increase the possibility of a house fire fatality by 60 per cent.


    “Some people don’t realise that when they’re asleep, they can’t smell smoke and may not wake up if a fire was to break-out in their home,” he said.


    “While many people have installed smoke alarms in recent years, it is vital that they continue to make fire safety a priority.”


    Working smoke alarms, used in conjunction with a home escape plan, provide the early warning and extra time needed to escape safely.


    While battery-operated smoke alarms are a quick and convenient option for households without protection or those looking to upgrade, the best coverage comes from mains-powered, photo-electric smoke alarms installed by a qualified electrician.


    “Anyone with a mains-powered smoke alarm should read the manufacturer’s instructions to check if they contain a back-up battery that requires changing by an electrician,” Mr Kobelke said.


    “With the small price of a smoke alarm or replacement battery able to save a life, it’s a small investment with a great reward.”


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    Minister's office -  9222 9211