Daylight saving ends on Sunday and firefighters have said it's a timely reminder to make sure your smoke alarms are working properly.
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While your phones and computers will automatically 'spring back' one hour this Sunday, April 5, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) are encouraging people to check their smoke alarms when they change their clocks.
Nyngan FRNSW captain Rob Avard said taking a few minutes to ensure smoke alarms were working properly could buy valuable time for families during an emergency.
"It's important that when people change their clocks, they change their smoke alarm batteries also, because only working smoke alarms help save lives," he said.
Captain Avard said checking smoke alarms are working in the home was important now more than ever, as most people are at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's important people check their smoke alarms because if the battery is flat they wont work for starters," he said.
"The best way people can check them is by pressing the little button on the underside of the alarm, that will activate them and if they don't activate you know you've got a problem."
According to Fire and Rescue NSW data 56 per cent of fatal home fires between 2000 and 2014 occurred in homes where no smoke alarms were present.
A working smoke alarm provides a critical early warning, giving you and your family time to escape. It can take as little as three minutes for a fire to take hold and takes only two quick breaths of thick, black smoke to render someone unconscious.
When changing smoke alarm batteries, Captain Avard also encouraged people to check the age of their smoke alarms.
"The smoke alarm age can be checked by looking on, or inside, the smoke alarm as the Australian Standard (AS3786) requires that there is a date stamp printed on them," he said.
"If you discover that your smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, it's time to replace them, as they become less reliable with age."
The Nyngan captain said a working smoke alarm and a home escape plan could save you, your family, pets and possessions in a fire.
"If you don't have smoke alarms, don't gamble with your family's life by waiting to install them - you should do it now," he said.
For more information about smoke alarms and fire safety head to the FRNSW website, www.fire.nsw.gov.au.
Anyone in the shire who has concerns about their smoke alarm can contact a local firefighter or email captain Avard at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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