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Read this if you want to sleep well tonight!

In Australia every year more people die as a result of residential fires than of all our natural disasters combined. On average over the last ten years, the number of people who have died in fires at their homes has remained consistent at approximately 50. Sadly, most of these deaths are preventable, especially with a properly fitted smoke alarm. Fatal fires are most common in living rooms and bedrooms with a third of people affected over the age of 65.

Fire and Rescue NSW respond to around 4500 residential fires each year. They report that approximately half of these fires are started by unattended cooking in kitchens. Fire and Rescue NSW advise that the risk of fatality is halved if you have a smoke alarm properly working in your home. We asked Marty Meehan from AMCM Electrical for some expert advice on what we need in our home.


Legal requirements

Did you know that it’s the law in NSW to have working fire alarms in your home? Smoke alarms must be installed on every level of your home whether you are an owner-occupier or in a rental property. Do you like to get away at the weekend in your caravan? Fire alarms are compulsory in a caravan or campervan too. Anywhere that people sleep.


Where to place your smoke alarm

Fire alarms must be placed in the hallway outside of the bedrooms. If your bedrooms are spread through the house you must have fire alarms located in all of these areas. When you’re asleep you won’t smell the smoke from a fire. It’s really scary when you realise you can become unconscious after just two quick breaths of thick black smoke.

Fire and Rescue NSW recommends you have interconnected alarms in each bedroom, living space, and even the garage. It’s common in many homes for smoke alarms to be placed too close to the kitchen or the bathroom. Asking an electrician for advice on the best place to put your fire alarms will give you peace of mind. If you already have fire alarms in your home don’t get complacent. 


When to replace your smoke alarm

Did you know that smoke alarms must be replaced with a brand new unit every ten years. With advances in technology and concerns about the functionality of older units this is now a requirement in NSW. Your alarm must comply with Australian Standard AS3786. Some manufacturers place the date the smoke alarm was made on the unit. Others place an expiry date on it. You’ll find this information on a label near the battery.


Testing and replacing the battery

It’s recommended you perform a monthly test on your alarm by not just pressing button but using smoke spray. This checks the battery is still working and it is still operating as it should.

Replace your battery once a year. If you have a lithium battery these can not be replaced. The whole fire alarm unit must be replaced every ten years.


Cleaning your smoke alarm

Fire alarms need a vacuum every six months to unclog any dust that may affect the operation of your alarm. Bugs, particles and dust can affect the operation of your unit so add this to your spring and autumn cleaning list.


Simple steps to reduce the likelihood of fire

You can reduce the risk of fire by following these simple steps:

  • Keep looking when cooking
  • Check your appliances and stop using them if they are faulty
  • Regularly make sure your power leads are not damaged
  • Don’t overload your power points
  • Keep everything at least one metre away from a heater
  • Don’t leave your tumble dryer on when you are out
  • Make sure you remove the lint from the tumble dryer
  • Be careful with candles and don’t let children use them unattended
  • Don’t smoke in bed

We can help with installing hardwired, interconnected fire alarms that will give you and your family peace of mind while you sleep. We’ll make sure your fire alarms are fully compliant and you’ll receive a Smoke Alarm Certification. 





AMCM Electrical | 2020 Master Electrician Finalist

Marty Meehan – Business Owner

Description: Marty is a fully licensed and insured electrician for residential, commercial, or maintenance jobs. Safety and quality workmanship is high on is list at every job. Marty works in both the residential & commercial sectors across a broad range of electrical services. Everything from fault finding, ceiling fans, and power points, to upgrades of switchboards and definitely smoke alarms. Marty is a finalist and also a member of Master Electricians Australia & has been servicing the Lake Mac and surrounds for nearly 10 years and would welcome the opportunity to quote your electrical work.

P: 0449634794

E: amcmelectrical@gmail.com

F: https://www.facebook.com/www.amcmelectrical.com.au/



https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/ {Accessed October 2020}

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