REGION - Throughout April, the Australian fire and emergency services together with Duracell are urging all Australians to change their smoke alarm batteries.
A good time to do it is on Sunday April 7 - the same time as you change your clocks at the end of daylight savings.
More than 12,000 residential fires were attended to by fire and emergency services throughout Australia in 2012 alone. Smoke alarms provide an essential early warning, and time to evacuate safely - but only if they work.
Campaign spokesperson, deputy chief officer Steven Warrington, urged everyone to change their batteries.
"Every year I continue to see a devastating number of house fires and unfortunately, not everyone gets out alive," he said.
"Ensuring you have a working smoke alarm in your home can save lives by providing that critical early warning sign giving you time to evacuate safely.
"We continue to work with our long term campaign sponsors, Duracell, to encourage all households in Australia to change their smoke alarm battery this April. We recommend using long-lasting 9V alkaline batteries to ensure year round protection.
The early warning provided by smoke alarms has been responsible for saving lives and properties across Australia.
Smoke alarms are designed to protect you while you are sleeping. Install smoke alarms in positions that will wake all occupants in the home and give them time to evacuate. Fire services recommend photo-electric smoke alarms be installed in every sleeping area.
You should install a smoke alarm in each sleeping area, hallway and living area. Smoke alarms installed in hallways should be located between the bedrooms and the rest of the house.
To minimise false alarms avoid installing smoke alarms in kitchens and bathrooms. Where alarms are to be installed close to kitchens or bathrooms choose a photo-electric smoke alarm to minimise false alarms.
Remember, smoke alarms may not be heard by young children, persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, sound sleepers and people who have recently used alcohol or medications.
You must alert them to a fire and help them escape to safety.
For more information visit www.changeyourbattery.com.au