Community Resilience

  Comment Banner March 2010

Smoke Alarm Retirement Campaign

10 is too old

In 2010, the Smoke Alarm Retirement Campaign enters its second year with MFS, CFS and the State Government once again urging people to send their smoke alarms into retirement when they reach 10 years of age.

The good news is the campaign message seems to be getting through to many South Australians, with a recent survey showing that 59% of respondents understood the basic 'Ten is too old' message.


As the campaign moves into its second year, the MFS and CFS are hoping that the message gets through to even more South Australians as the fire services are concerned that many people are still making a dangerous assumption that could potentially cost lives.

The survey also showed that many people believed that hard wired smoke alarms do not need to be replaced, which is untrue.

MFS Community Safety District Officer, Allan Foster says that the key message the fire services are aiming to get across this time around is that ALL smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years.

"The message we'd like to drum home is that regardless of whether smoke alarms are battery operated or connected to the mains power supply, all smoke alarms are only manufactured to last for 10 years under normal operating conditions."

"A 10 year old hard-wired smoke alarm is just as unreliable as a 10 year old battery-operated smoke alarm. Both should be sent straight into retirement," he said.

CFS Manager Community Education and Public Warnings, Fiona Dunstan says the Smoke Alarm Retirement Campaign has a simple but life-saving message.

"Old smoke alarms, regardless of whether they're battery or mains power operated, take longer to respond to smoke or may not respond at all, reducing critical escape time from a house fire," she said.

As part of the Emergency Services Sector, we need to lead by example - so make sure that you keep yourself and your family safe from fire - check your smoke alarms and replace them if necessary.

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