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Journeys : June July 2009
Make sure alarms can do their job Smoke alarms sometimes go off accidentally. It might simply be burnt toast that causes the alarm to trigger. Research shows that some people react to this irritation by disconnecting their smoke alarm, or removing the battery. Smoke alarms cannot help to save your home or your family if they are disconnected, dismantled, or the battery is flat. To minimise false alarms, avoid installing smoke alarms close to kitchens and bathrooms. False alarms are often caused by steam from bathrooms or by cooking fumes. Photoelectric While you’re asleep smoke alarms are less prone to false alarms from cooking fumes. Ideally you should Install smoke alarms in all sleeping areas and in all paths of travel between sleeping areas and exits to the open air, such as hallways and living areas. The majority of residential fires occur in the early hours of the morning when householders are asleep. When sleeping, your sense of smell is diminished, reducing the chance that the smell of smoke will wake you. Smoke may also put residents, especially elderly occupants, into a deeper sleep. So the loud pitch warning of a smoke alarm is essential. Remember young children are likely to sleep through the sound of a smoke alarm, so you must alert them to a fire and help them escape to safety. Some smoke alarm advice from the TFS 1. All homes should be fitted with Australian Standards approved photoelectric smoke alarms. 2. Smoke alarms should be supported by a home fire escape plan. Sample Plan Front Door Living Room Bedroom Bedroom Study Dining Kitchen Back Door 3. If you live in a house with more than one level, install a smoke alarm on the ceiling at the head of the stairway connecting the levels. 4. Much better protection will be provided if you inter-connect all smoke alarms in your home, so that when one alarm operates, all alarms operate. 5. Avoid installing smoke alarms too close to air conditioners, heaters, fans and similar devices, because these might affect the performance of your smoke alarms. 6. Replace the battery annually with a long-lasting alkaline battery. My Bedroom Safe Meeting Place i.e. Mail box 7. Make sure the battery terminals are lined up the right way, then ‘click’ the battery into position. Push the test button to make sure the alarm is working – it should beep loudly. 8. Test smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button with a broom handle. 9. Clean your alarm every six months with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner, more often if it’s in a dusty or dirty environment, otherwise your alarm won’t work properly. 10. A short, low beep every 60 seconds indicates the battery power is low and the battery needs replacing. 11. 240 volt or mains powered smoke alarms also have back-up batteries which could be either 9 volt alkaline or lithium batteries which last 10 years. These should also be replaced regularly. 12. Special smoke alarms that have visual and vibrating indicators are available for people with a hearing impairment. June / July 09 23 Hall Bathroom & Toilet Laundry
April May 2009
August September 2009