HAWKS Nest residents Gayl and Graham Wilkinson were fast asleep Friday night when Mrs Wilkinson heard an alarm in the distance.
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“I heard a faint alarm and got up to investigate what it was; I thought maybe it was at the neighbours house.”
“I came out of our bedroom and the house was full of smoke.”
“We walked around trying to find the source, and our neighbours came over because they had heard the alarm going off too.”
“One of our neighbours saw that a light in the main room had a hole burned right through it and then saw that the chair was smouldering.”
“We were very lucky.”
Deputy Captain of Fire and Rescue NSW, Dean Chester, said that there’s no doubt that the smoke detectors saved their lives.
“It’s a busy time of year for us for house fires.”
“People are getting out their heaters, but also overloading their powerboards and electrical devices.
“If the smoke detectors didn’t go off, it would have been a very different story.”
Mr Chester said to be extra careful of the placement of certain furniture and items around sources of heat.
He also said that in the case of a fire, turn the power to the house off immediately and keep all of the doors and windows closed to keep the oxygen levels down.
Mrs Wilkinson continued, “The firefighters were great and very thorough, checking the house with a CO2 detector to make sure it was safe for us to return inside.”
Fire and Rescue NSW advises to test your smoke alarm batteries every month by pressing and holding the test button for at least five seconds until you hear the beeps. You should also remove dust from smoke alarms every six months, and replace batteries every twelve months. By year ten, they recommend replacing all smoke alarms completely.
For more information on smoke alarms and fire safety visit fire.nsw.gov.au.
By Ashley CHRYSLER