Thursday, March 28, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Don’t be an April Fool Only One In Ten Aussies Test Their Smoke Alarms

Just as leaving your doors unlocked poses a risk, neglecting to install and maintain smoke alarms in your home can jeopardise the safety of yourself and your loved ones.

With more Australians dying in residential fires on average than by all natural hazards combined, it’s sparking a renewed call from experts for Australians to protect themselves with a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms provide a critical early warning to give you and your loved ones time to escape, so testing and maintaining them plays a crucial role in the device’s purpose, saving lives.

While Queensland has the most stringent fire safety laws in the country, the latest data shows just 73% of households tested their smoke alarms last year. While nearly two in three (62%) of those who do not have interconnected smoke alarms installed say they are likely to install them in the next 12 months.

Research from Brooks Australia reveals that the majority of Aussies (90%) don’t test their smoke alarm to the recommended standard – which is once a month.

Furthermore, a stunning one in five (22%) Aussies that have disabled their smoke alarms admit to never having replaced the battery when it ran out.

Cathy Brand, CEO of Brooks Australia, says testing your smoke alarm isn’t a task, it’s a responsibility.

“Smoke alarms are the most effective early warning sign when there is a fire, but if they aren’t tested and maintained properly it can put you, your family and your home at risk. Unfortunately, our research has found that households across Australia don’t regularly test their smoke alarms, placing Aussie families at significant risk,” Brand says.

“We’ve seen in recent months just how important smoke alarms are in saving lives including the escape of a family on the Gold Coast earlier this year.”

The absence of working smoke alarms can increase the possibility of a fatal fire by 60%.

Brand says testing your smoke alarms should be a regular maintenance routine of Australian households.  

“While the recommendation is to test your smoke alarms once a month, cleaning the device to remove any dust, insects or cobwebs every six months can minimise false alarms and help smoke reach the internal sensors easily,” Brand says.

“Testing smoke alarms is a lot simpler than people might expect, just remember 10 - smoke alarms need to be less than 10 years old, take less than 10 seconds to clean and less than 10 seconds to test. That’s why we are encouraging Aussies to set a reminder every month to test your smoke alarm.”

Smoke alarms are a crucial safety feature in every household, but they can only protect you if they are working properly. To ensure that your smoke alarms are always functioning correctly, Brooks Australia recommends performing regular maintenance checks.

Brooks Australia is urging all Australians to check their smoke alarms once a month by joining #TestitTuesday where on a Tuesday during the month, households set a reminder to test their smoke alarms. To find out more about it, head to

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