Firefighters check in on Tamworth residents

SAFETY CHECKS: Tamworth fire fighter Phil Moore installs a new smoke alarm. Photo:Gareth Gardner 110816GGC01
SAFETY CHECKS: Tamworth fire fighter Phil Moore installs a new smoke alarm. Photo:Gareth Gardner 110816GGC01

Local firefighters have urged the community to check on the effectiveness of their smoke alarms after a blitz in Tamworth on Thursday.

Local officers were joined by community engagement firefighters from Sydney where they door knocked and inspected around 30 homes for fire safety. From those they replaced 20 out of date or non-working alarms.

Crews also got to work replacing smoke alarm batteries and also found a number of fire hydrants that were hidden from view.

Tamworth zone fire Superintendent Tom Cooper said the results were surprising.

“It’s a good indication that there is an issue with people who aren’t aware that their smoke alarms are not working or they aren’t aware they are over ten years old,” he said.

“We’ve replaced the old smoke alarms with new ones and we also replaced a couple of batteries on some that weren’t functioning.

“This is probably not uncommon, we need to raise awareness of it and this is probably a good indicator there are a few ore houses like this in Tamworth.”

Superintendent Cooper said it was important residents had photo electric smoke alarms installed in their homes.

“They're better than the old ones,” he said.

“The old ones are radioactive, and the photo electric ones go off a lot quicker than the ionisation alarms and they don’t give off as many false alarms.”

He said the old smoke alarms can be disposed of in rubbish bins in small amounts.

Meanwhile crews were also able to get on top of some potential firefighting safety issues of their own.

“While we were performing home safety checks, one of our crew members checked all the hydrants and there were a couple that we couldn’t find and we had to dig out as the grass had grown over them,” he said.

“That’s five or six hydrants that had to be located, it was further good work by the fire brigade.”

Superintendent Cooper said he hoped firefighters could carry out similar inspections in the local area into the future.