Daylight Savings ends this weekend. According to the NSW Department of Justice website we are supposed to turn our clocks back at 3.00 am on 3rd April 2016. In practice, most of us either turn the clocks back before we go to bed or when we wake up. The end of Daylight Savings is a good time for organisations, like the NSW Fire Department and the Pedestrian Council of Australia, to draw attention to some “housekeeping” matters.
Change Your Smoke Alarms
Traditionally at the end of the Daylight Savings, firefighters encourage NSW residents to test their smoke alarms and change the batteries if necessary. This year the Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Commissioner, Greg Mullins, has urged residents to start thinking about updating their smoke alarms. Apparently many of us have old and outdated ionisation smoke alarms. It has been ten years since NSW introduced legislation to make it mandatory to have smoke alarms in dwellings where people sleep. In NSW, all dwellings must have at least one working smoke alarm per level. FRNSW recommends having smoke alarms installed in all bedrooms for maximum protection. Smoke alarms are also mandatory for all caravans, campervans, and other moveable dwellings where people sleep – even if the vehicle is kept off the road. FRNSW have advised that smoke alarms need to be replaced at least every ten years.
The end of daylights savings is the ideal time to start thinking about replacing your outdated, 10-year-old smoke alarms.
“There could be millions of smoke alarms out there that are about to reach their ‘use-by date’ and they need to go. We’re encouraging NSW residents to choose newer photoelectric smoke alarms that have 10-year lithium batteries. Photoelectric smoke alarms have fewer false activations and are more effective at detecting the types of fires that are most likely to result in a home fire death – smouldering fires. Only working smoke alarms help save lives,” Commissioner Mullins said. “A fire can take hold in just three minutes, filling your home with deadly smoke. A working smoke alarm gives you vital seconds to get out before you’re overcome. Stay out of harm, replace your smoke alarms and ReAlarm your home against fire ahead of winter.”
Commissioner Mullins FRNSW
Did you know if you’re a senior or a person with a disability, you can contact your local fire station and talk to the station about help with checking or replacing the battery in your smoke alarm? FRNSW has in place a Smoke Alarm and Battery Replacement program. The Smoke Alarm and Battery Replacement for the Elderly Program (SABRE) is designed to increase safety awareness, education, and confidence in regards to fire and other safety issues across NSW.
The SABRE program is provided to residents who have limited domestic support, i.e., no access to family, friends or neighbours who can assist, and are living in their own or a privately rented home in FRNSW fire district. Examples are:
- frail aged people (aged over 65)
- people with disabilities
- people who are already receiving community assistance and services.
Firefighters will visit the residence at an arranged time to install a battery operated smoke alarm or replace existing smoke alarm batteries at no installation cost. The resident must supply the battery-operated smoke alarm or batteries. Firefighters can provide smoke alarm advice whilst visiting premises.
The Lane Cove Fire Station is actually located in Artarmon. In an emergency, you should always dial Triple Zero (000). However if you would like to contact Lane Cove Fire Station for advice on smoke detectors, the number is 9901 2420.
ITC is not making any judgement but one of our most popular Facebook posts in 2015 was a picture of two of our local Firefighters from the Lane Cove Fire Station. Over 220 people liked the photo below and many many many comments (all with a similar complementary theme) were made. So if you want to make these two blokes happy you better check/replace your Smoke Detector.
Be Alert When Driving
Drivers and Pedestrians should be extra alert after the end of daylight savings. Drivers and pedestrians have been used to longer daylight hours and they do not necessarily adjust their behaviour to account for less light during the 6.00 pm rush home. According to the Pedestrian Council of Australia (and overseas websites) statistics have shown that there are more accidents around the time that daylight savings starts or end. So be careful out there and don’t get distracted. You can read our blog on pedestrian safety here
Another tip is to ensure you get your daily dose of Vitamin D. If you’re not sure how much sun exposure you need and the safe times to be in the sun, ITC highly recommends you read this ABC article on Vitamin D guidelines.
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