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Autumn Fire Safety tips

Autumn is here and as the weather starts to change, we encourage all households to consider fire safety as you prepare your home for the cooler months.

People are starting to think about how to stay warm, particularly in the southern states, with homes starting to be warmed with heaters and fireplaces. The kitchen is also starting to be used more instead of BBQs from the summer season. Residential fires occur the most in the kitchen, so always be fire-safety conscious when you’re cooking.

Check out the list of handy tips and hints below:

  • use candles with caution and never leave them unattended. Ensure they are not in a place where they could fall
  • ensure your heaters are to Australian standard and cleaned and/or serviced prior to winter
  • clean your smoke alarms by using a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust particles, which can hinder the smoke alarms’ performance in a fire situation
  • clear out any rubbish, piles of old newspapers, cardboard boxes and unused furniture and ensure that nothing is blocking the exit and escape points in the home
  • clean your cooking appliances and remove the build up of grease from range hood filters
  • as the leaves start to fall throughout Autumn, keep your garden clear of leaves to minimise the fuel load for a potential fire. Clean the outside of your house by removing leaves from gutters, roofs and downpipes and fit quality metal leaf guards
  • check  power points and power boards to make sure they’re not overloaded and inspect electrical cords and equipment for damage

And of course, households are always better protected from fire by following a few fire safety precautions and having a working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of the home and in sleeping areas, fire extinguishers within reach in the kitchen and garage and a home escape plan.

Stay safe this Autumn with Quell.

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Did you know that you should replace your smoke alarm every 10 years?

Did you know that the sensitivity of smoke alarms can decrease over time? In some Australian States it is also a requirement to replace your smoke alarm every 10 years.

An outdated or faulty smoke alarm may just be as dangerous as having no smoke alarm at all. Being unprotected from the possibility of a fire is a risk Quell hopes no family has to face.

To know when your smoke alarm was manufactured, look for a batch number, which is typically printed near the battery compartment. For example, a batch number of 2417 indicates that the product was manufactured in the 24th week of 2017. All Quell alarms have a date of manufacture printed clearly on the base.

Some other handy tips to maintaining your smoke alarm include:

  • Clean and vacuum your smoke alarm at least every 6 months. This will help nuisance alarms caused by dust or other contaminants.
  • Test your alarm after installing new batteries – simply press the test button.
  • Replace your smoke alarm battery at least once a year, typically at daylight saving time.

Smoke Alarm State Legislation

Australian laws requires all residential property owners to install at least one smoke alarm on each floor of the property however the exact requirements vary from state to state.

Not sure what your legal requirements are? Click on the handy links below to check.

Working smoke alarms are the only smoke alarms that can save lives and property, and it is important they are maintained properly. Why not check your smoke alarm today.

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Do you have a fire escape plan?

Did you know that having a home fire escape plan in conjunction with a working smoke alarm will greatly increase your chances of getting out safely?

Every second counts when it comes to fire safety.

So here’s just a few tips to help keep you and your family safe in the event of a fire.

  • Draw a floor plan of your home and include two ways of escape from each room. Plan an escape route and ensure everyone knows how to get out.
  • Keep door and window keys in or next to locks so they can be opened easily.
  • Blocked exits are a hazard so keep exits clear of anything that may hinder your exit.
  • Decide on a meeting place outside e.g. the letterbox.
  • Know who will assist children and those with mobility/health issues.
  • Call 000 from a neighbour’s phone or your mobile phone.
  • Once you are out, don’t return to the home. Never go back into a burning building.

Download the escape plan template

Thanks to Fire & Rescue NSW who have provided an example of an escape plan with an empty grid so you can draw your own home fire escape plan. Download the escape plan today.

Don’t forget to practice!

Once you’ve had the discussion with the family and worked out the appropriate escape plan for your home and family, don’t forget to practice regularly – both day and night!

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Think fire safety this Spring

Spring is here and we encourage all households to consider fire safety during your ‘spring clean’ to prepare your home for the warmer months.

Check out the list of handy tips and hints below:

  • take the time to spring clean your smoke alarms by using a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust particles, which can hinder the smoke alarms’ performance in a fire situation
  • clear out any rubbish, piles of old newspapers, cardboard boxes and unused furniture and ensure that nothing is blocking the exit and escape points in the home
  • clean your cooking appliances and remove the build up of grease from range hood filters as part of any spring clean
  • household chemicals, such as pesticides, pool chemicals, and caustic cleaning agents can accelerate the spread of a fire and produce a lot of toxic smoke. Make sure garden and household chemicals are locked well away from children and check the manufacturer’s instructions on the containers regarding storage and use of these chemicals.
  • prune back branches on shrubs and trees in your garden to minimise the fuel load for a potential fire and clean the outside of your house by removing leaves from gutters, roofs and downpipes and fit quality metal leaf guards
  • check  power points and power boards to make sure they’re not overloaded and inspect electrical cords and equipment for damage

And of course, households are always better protected from fire by following a few fire safety precautions and having a working smoke alarm and home escape plan.

Stay safe this Spring with Quell.

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Winter is coming: are you fire safety ready?

Winter is Coming: Take the time to look around your home to ensure you are fire safety ready

As you and your family prepare for the winter months ahead, Quell wants to remind you of the importance of equipping your home with working carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Winter is the peak season for CO poisonings, but with a Quell Carbon Monoxide alarm, safety can be made simple for homeowners.

“With winter quickly approaching, we want to make sure that families are protecting themselves from the dangers of carbon monoxide,” said David Laundry, National Consumer Manager at Quell. “CO alarms provide a critical alert for homeowners when CO is present. Quell is committed to raising awareness about the importance of working alarms that could mean the difference between life and death.”

Statistics suggest that 43% of all fire fatalities occur in winter, often due to the misuse of heaters.  Quell suggest to prevent fire risks this winter, ensure you have a working smoke alarm, that space heaters meet the latest safety standards, which would include having a cut off device, placing heaters on a hard, stable surface and turning heaters off when you leave an area or before going to bed.

Heaters also pose a CO risk if they are faulty or are being used incorrectly. Carbon monoxide, often called the ‘silent killer’ is a clear, tasteless and odourless substance that is produced from the incomplete combustion of gas. Quell recommends having your gas appliances checked by a qualified technician and ensuring that at least one CO alarm is present on each level of your home, ideally in or near any room with a fuel burning appliance (such as boiler, gas cooker, fireplace or heater).

David Laundry says that the winter months can be a serious safety hazard if families are unprepared. “The lead up to winter is a great time, not only to check the fire alarms in your home are functioning, but also to research into what other fire safety equipment you may need in your home to protect your family in the best possible way,” Laundry says.

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When daylight saving ends on 7 April 2019, check your smoke alarm

This Sunday, as daylight saving ends, Quell, a leading provider of fire and safety equipment reminds families to check their smoke alarms and replace any expired smoke alarms in their homes. Smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old should be replaced.

“The reasons for a smoke alarm not operating may include battery or alarm failure, both of which require attention and maintenance,” said David Laundry, National Consumer Manager, Quell. “It’s a good idea to check your fire alarm on a day such as the daylight saving changeover because it is memorable and can help ensure continued protection year on year.”

To know when your smoke alarm was manufactured, look for a batch number, which is typically printed near the battery compartment. A batch number of 2406 indicates that the product was manufactured in the 24th week of 2006. Quell alarms have a date of manufacture printed clearly on the base, while some manufacturers now place the expiry date on the smoke alarm.

“Working smoke alarms are the only smoke alarms that can save lives and property, and it is important they are maintained properly,” said Laundry.

So change your clock, check your alarm for the age and replace batteries where possible.

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Quell is one of the most respected names in Fire & Safety in the Australian consumer market. A division of Chubb, the world-renowned fire safety and security company with over 100 years' experience, Quell's commitment to quality and product innovation is unparalleled.