Failure to maintain smoke alarms

Last winter only half of all homes where accidental fires occurred had a working smoke alarm, prompting WA fire authorities and Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan to urge people to take immediate action.


All smoke alarms, regardless of type or model, need to be replaced at least every 10 years.


Unfortunately 75 per cent of Western Australians are also unaware that smoke alarms need to be regularly cleaned and tested to ensure they can detect fire.


Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said, "Between June and August last year, firefighters battled 199 accidental residential fires across the State, up nearly six per cent from the previous year.


"When you are asleep you lose your sense of smell - a working, well maintained smoke alarm gives you and your family the best chance to wake up and escape safely.


"Don't become a statistic this winter and please take the time now to check your smoke alarm is working, as your life might count on it."


Western Australians are being warned not to be complacent and put their lives at risk by ignoring critical smoke alarm maintenance.


A simple task now can save your life, and the lives of your family, this winter.


For more information and tips on how to keep your home and family safe this winter, visit


Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan said, "Last winter, firefighters across the State attended on average two structure fires every day.


"Those fires caused millions of dollars of damage, in total, over the winter period.


"Smoke alarm legislation has been in place for over 20 years in Western Australia but research shows few people are aware of the importance of keeping an alarm clean.


"Smoke alarms clogged with dust, insects and other particles can make the alarm less sensitive, meaning it will take longer to detect the presence of deadly smoke.


"Only a working, well maintained smoke alarm can save lives. It could be the difference between a close call and a tragedy.


"Please take the opportunity this weekend to check and clean your smoke alarms."


12 June 2018.