Daylight saving time officially ends, it means it will be lighter earlier in the morning but darker earlier at night.
While your phones and computers will automatically "fall back" one hour, you'll still have to check your clocks on the wall, the ovens, microwaves, and most importantly, your smoke detectors. So if you haven't done it, now is the time to do.
New Zealand Fire and Emergency reminds everyone to check the batteries on their smoke alarms, make sure they are working or install them if they don’t have any.
As winter is coming — Kiwis are using a lot more flammable electric blankets and heaters than usual, so this is a friendly reminder from the good folks at Fire and Emergency New Zealand to keep yourselves safe.
For most of us, losing a home or loved one to house fire is an unimaginable nightmare. It's also a preventable one.
So, here's what you need to do.
- Lift, twist, or remove the cover. (In some cases, the whole alarm will come off from a base.)
- Replace the battery with a brand-new one.
- Close and snap the detector back into place.
- Press the test button to make sure it's working. You should hear a beep or chirp sound.
However, New Zealand Fire and Emergency also suggest you maintain smoke alarms more regularly and check that they’re working. So following their advice we've developed a maintenance guide below for more details:
If you are using Battery Smoke Alarms
- Once a month: press the test button to sound the alarm. When you're asleep, you lose your sense of smell. Trial the test button on your alarms and make sure their sound is loud and clear. If you cannot reach the button easily, use a broom handle.
- Every 6 months: vacuum or dust your smoke alarms to help reduce false alarms
- Every year: check the expiry date. This is usually located on the bottom or side of the alarm. If your smoke alarm does not have an expiry date on it, it is best to replace it.
- Every 10 years: replace all smoke alarms with new long-life photoelectric smoke alarms.
*If you have a replaceable battery smoke alarm, replace the battery every year. Please note: Your alarms will start to beep regularly if the battery is low.
If you are using Hard-wired Smoke Alarm
- Follow the testing and maintenance schedule provided by the installer.
Also, don't forget to inspect your fire extinguisher for any signs of corrosion, missing pull-pins, and/or changes in the pressure gauge. It's always a good idea to have a working one on hand — especially when you're attempting to roast a giant glazed ham for Easter.
More information on how to check fire extinguisher, click here.