Don't be a Fool, check your smoke alarms on 1 April

Western Australians are being reminded to check their smoke alarms today, as new research shows three out of four people are unaware the life-saving devices require regular maintenance.

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The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) encourages the community to inspect their smoke alarms on April Fool’s Day every year to ensure the unit can provide the critical early warning needed during a home fire.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said only working smoke alarms protect and save households in the event of a fire in a home.

“When you’re asleep, you won’t see or smell the fire, which is why a working smoke alarm is so important,” Commissioner Klemm said.

“It is not enough to just have a smoke alarm installed – regularly cleaning and testing the unit could be the difference between life and death.”

A recent survey conducted by DFES found that although 90 per cent of WA homes have smoke alarms installed, most residents did not know how to maintain them.

The results concluded that 75 per cent of respondents did not know smoke alarms had to be tested every month and 58 per cent were unaware they needed to replace their smoke alarms every 10 years.

Commissioner Klemm said people should consider regular maintenance on their smoke alarm an important part of maintaining any residential property.

“Press the ‘test’ button monthly, clean the dust from your smoke alarm every 6 months, and if your smoke alarm has a replaceable battery, change it every year,” he said.

“I also urge you to check in with your neighbours, especially if they are elderly or have been in their home for many years and ask if they need help maintaining or inspecting their smoke alarms.”

Of the 804 fires that occurred at WA residential properties in 2020, nearly half of these homes did not have a smoke alarm.

DFES recommends the installation of mains-powered smoke alarms, which are a legal requirement for homes subject to sale, rent or hire.

For more information on how to install, maintain and inspect smoke alarms, visit the DFES website at​.


Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9395 9543.