Change your smoke alarm batteries this Sunday

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					                                The Hon Steve Whan MP
                                Minister for Emergency Services
                                Minister for Small Business

   New South Wales Government




           Change your smoke alarm batteries this Sunday
                                                                  Saturday, April 4, 2009

Minister for Emergency Services Steve Whan is urging people to change their
smoke alarm batteries when they switch their clocks back an hour to mark the
end of daylight saving this weekend.

The announcement follows the official launch of Change Your Clock, Change
Your Smoke Alarm Battery education campaign by Australian fire services
and Duracell on March 30 in Sydney.

“We are approaching the winter season for house fires and as the colder
weather forces us to spend more time indoors, we use more heating, lighting
and electrical appliances and increase the risk of a fire starting in the home,“
said Minister Whan.

“One death, is one too many; but the NSW Fire Brigades and Rural Fire
Service responded to almost 5000 house fires last year, tragically resulting in
21 deaths.

“Every household must ensure their smoke alarms are working. If you don’t
have a working smoke alarm, you are gambling with the lives of your family
members, for the sake of a few dollars and a few minutes to replace a few
batteries.

“I urge you to make a life-saving decision this weekend and change your
smoke alarm battery when you wind your clock back on Sunday.”

Three simple steps to maintain a working smoke alarm are:
   • clean your smoke alarms regularly with the vacuum cleaner to keep
      them free from dust
   • test them every month by pressing the button with a broom handle to
      ensure they are working
   • once a year, replace the batteries

For more information on smoke alarms, visit the website www.fire.nsw.gov.au
or www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.