Don’t be April fooled ... this is a matter of life and death

THE Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and battery company Duracell have urged Fraser Coast residents to change their smoke alarms on April Fool's Day.

After a summer of extreme fire conditions across the state the Don't Be a Fool campaign will remind residents of the importance of fire detection.

In 2012, the QFRS attended 57 residential fires where smoke alarms failed to operate.

QFRS Inspector David Sutch said a number of factors contributed to this trend including batteries being removed, alarms being disconnected and incorrectly installed.

"Last year, 11 lives were tragically lost in Queensland as a result of house fires and a further 30 the year before," he said.

"These figures are concerning and imply that residents are not taking the risks of a faulty smoke alarm seriously."

Inspector Sutch said the statistics re-enforced the importance of working smoke alarms in Queensland households and encouraged residents to use the campaign as an opportunity to protect themselves and their family.

"It takes less than five minutes to change a smoke alarm battery which is time well spent when it could result in a potential life being saved," he said.

The QFRS recommend residents test smoke alarms monthly and clean their alarm with a vacuum annually to remove particles that could affect performance. Batteries should be replaced annually. If living in a rental property, call the rental property manager and ensure the building has correctly installed, maintained and working smoke alarms.

They also recommend householders install photoelectric smoke alarms in positions that would wake everyone in the home and give them time to evacuate.

Visit changeyourbattery.com.au or fire.qld.gov.au for more information.