Fire and Rescue NSW promote smoke alarm safety as daylight saving ends

Daylight saving ended on Sunday and firefighters say it's a timely reminder to make sure your smoke alarms are working properly.

While your phones and computers automatically 'sprung forward' one hour earlier on Sunday, April 7, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) are encouraging people in Narromine and Dubbo to check their smoke alarms as they change their clocks.

FRNSW Inspector for the Western Slopes and Plains Steve Knight said smoke alarms were vital in protecting lives.

"It's a great reminder that as you change your clocks, check your smoke alarms to make sure they're operational and in the right position," he said.

"Smoke alarms definitely save lives."

Extensive research over three years by FRNSW has revealed that the number, the location and interconnection of smoke alarms play a critical role in achieving positive fire safety outcomes.

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More than 56 per cent of fatal house fires between 2000 and 2014 had no smoke alarms. Most of these deadly fires also occurred between midnight and 6am, when people were asleep.

"A fire can take hold in two minutes, and you can be dead in two minutes as you breathe in that carcinogenic smoke, it will kill you in a heartbeat," Inspector Knight said. 

"Ninety-nine percent of people die in a house fire from smoke inhalation, not the burns.

"Having a fire escape plan is also vitally important."

When changing smoke alarm batteries, Inspector Knight also encouraged people to check the age of their smoke alarms.

He said the Australian standard required smoke alarms to have a date stamp printed on them, and after 10 years they need to be replaced.

"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," he said. 

Inspector Knight urged anyone who needed more information should contact their local Fire and Rescue station and ask local firefighters their advice on where to put them and what type of smoke alarms are best. 

"We will be happy to assist in any way possible," he said.