No only do smoke detectors save properties, they save lives. They detect fire smoke much sooner than anyone sleeping could, and provide crucial time to take action against the fire. Plus, having at least one smoke alarm per storey in your home or office is law.

Here are a couple of stats that really drive home just how important having a working smoke alarm is:

  • On average, there are 4,500 fires and 21 deaths per year in NSW.
  • Fatalities caused by house fires are up to twice as likely in homes without a working smoke alarm.
  • Between one third and one half of all deaths caused by fire in NSW could have been prevented by a working smoke alarm.
  • Only about half of Australian households replace their smoke alarm batteries once every 12 months, as recommended.

The NSW Fire & Rescue Service has some fantastic information about smoke alarms.

The Devastating Impact of House Fires

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The cupboard where a loose wire sparked a fire at 2am in Balmain.

I’ve witnessed first hand just how devastating a house fire can be. And, it’s made all the worse knowing that it could have been prevented by something as simple as a working smoke detector.

We were contacted by devastated home owners of a Balmain home that had recently suffered a kitchen fire.

What happened was this. A loose connection in a power point that the dishwasher was plugged into shorted. The cupboard where the power point was located stored lots of flammable materials like paper and cleaning products.

At 2am, when the wiring shorted, the materials in the cupboard caught alight. Unfortunately, there was no safety switch on the switchboard to monitor the system and cut off the power supply. So the fire spread and the whole house filled with black smoke.

To make matters worse, they didn’t have a smoke detector downstairs and their smoke alarm upstairs had a flat battery. The entire kitchen had to be gutted and rebuilt. The smell of burnt plastic was dreadful

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The Balmain home’s switchboard without safety switch, before we upgraded it.

and permeated into every surface of the house and has taken a long time to dispel, well after the kitchen was rebuilt.

We made sure the wiring was isolated so the builders could remove the charred kitchen and appliances and safely renovate. We also rewired the kitchen, the switchboard, added four safety switches.

This house fire was devastating, and cost a lot of time and money. I’m just happy no one was hurt.

Protect your Home and Family

Having an adequate number of working smoke alarms isn’t difficult, and it could save your life. To make sure you’re 100% covered all the time, we recommend having hard wired smoke alarms installed, with the superior rechargeable lithium battery, rather than the standard backup battery. The rechargeable lithium battery never needs to be changed, which means your smoke detector will always be in perfect working order.

We believe so strongly in the importance of permanently working smoke alarms that we are willing to give you a rechargeable lithium battery for free when we install your hard-wired smoke alarm. Check out our Specials Page for more information, or give us a call on 1300 191 330.