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27 Oct

Increased usage in electrical appliances around your home, mainly with many of us working from home, means a heavier load on your home’s electrical system.

Overload can cause all sorts of issues, paving the way for an array of faults in your electrical system.

We all know, faulty electrical systems are one of the most common causes of fire, leading to property damage, injury, and in worst cases, death. The Country Fire Authority Victoria, in a statement made in 2018 confirmed, electrical systems issues as the second of the Top 3 causes of household fires. Industry specialists point out that one of the main reasons for these tragedies is the lack of smoke alarms or smoke alarms that are faulty.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (USA), when house fires occur, residents without smoke alarms are twice as likely to die than those with alarms! And, at homes where fire alarms were found but did not work, it was because the equipment was faulty or it was a simple case of batteries not being replaced.

Here’s the deal:

The Victorian Smoke Alarm legislation stipulates that all Victorian residential properties must have smoke alarms on every level of their property (incl. houses, units, flats and townhouses), and must adhere to Australian standard: AS 3786.

For optimal protection, we recommend that you have interconnected smoke alarms in the living room and every sleeping area of your home. This will ensure that if one smoke alarm goes off, it will trigger the other alarms too. However, according to Fire Rescue Victoria, only one in 10 households has their smoke alarms in the recommended location!

To start off, ensure you install smoke alarms in the right places at home. Everyone in the household should be able to hear it. This is crucial. Global statistics suggest that more than 50% of house fires occur between 11 pm and 7 am, when the occupants are asleep.

Here are some guidelines we adhere to:

  • Have a smoke alarm outside every bedroom, and inside, if the door is typically kept shut
  • The above applies for every floor
  • Ceiling-mounted smoke alarms should be at least 4 inches from the nearest wall, and wall-mounted ones, at least 4-12 inches from the ceiling.

Maintaining your smoke alarms

Smoke alarms work effectively only when maintained properly. Here are our tips to ensure your smoke alarms do they job when you need them the most:

  • Testing – Test your alarm batteries every month. To do this, press and hold the test button until the alarm beeps thrice.
  • Cleaning – At least once a year, dust, vacuum or gently wipe around the cover to clean it.
  • Replace batteries – Once a year, replace the batteries with 9 volt smoke alarm batteries, unless you have a 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm.
  • Replace all smoke alarms at home – Once every ten years commit to replacing your smoke alarms with interconnected, hard-wired smoke alarms. We can help you with this.

We can’t stress this enough – smoke alarms are an essential part of staying safe. No matter the cause of the fire, or where in your house, properly functioning smoke alarms alert everyone in time to make timely evacuation possible. And, with them being affordable, easy to maintain and/or replace, there really is no excuse to not take precautionary measures.

Now, take a few minutes to get away from your computer or phone and do a quick check of the smoke alarms on your property.

If you find any issues, get in touch with us on 03 4333 9117, and we’ll sort you out right away.

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