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Change your clocks and check your smoke alarms

Change your clocks and check your smoke alarms

The Fire Service urges people to test their smoke alarms when they move their clocks back an hour for Daylight Saving this weekend.

“The simple fact is that smoke alarms save lives. We believe that most deaths in house fires would have been prevented if there had been working smoke alarms to alert people and give them time to escape,” said Fire Risk Management National Advisor, Todd O’Donoghue. In eight out of 10 fatal house fires there are no working smoke alarms.

Mr O’Donoghue said smoke alarms should be tested on the weekend and the batteries changed if they are over a year old – unless they are a long life battery.

The Fire Service recommends people install photo electric smoke alarms with a built-in long-life battery. They are particularly useful for home rental properties as they last for up to 10 years and the battery can’t be removed.

“The advantage of long-life alarms is that you never need to change the battery, so they work out cheaper over the life of the alarm and take less effort to maintain. There’s also no temptation to take out the battery and use it for something else.”

However, the long life alarms are more expensive initially so Mr O’Donoghue suggested people buy one or two a year to replace their existing alarms. “There should be a minimum of one smoke alarm in every bedroom or sleep out. We also recommend one for the hallways, lounge and dining areas.”

He said choosing a battery has just been made easier as Consumer NZ has just completed a series of tests to determine which batteries are best for smoke alarms.

The results are available at www.consumer.org.nz/reports/smoke-alarm-batteries

ENDS

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