Sunday, April 4, 2010

‘Change Your Clock, Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery’

Last night Sweetheart Vivienne and I enjoyed an extra hour of sleep. Because at 2 a.m. today, daylight saving ended in Tasmania [1]. To mark this auspicious occasion, the Tasmania Fire Service [TFS] and battery maker Duracell teamed up for a campaign urging all Tasmanians to ‘Change Your Clock, Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery’ [2]. CYC aims to ensure all smoke alarms are kept in working order. It’s message’s promoted via print media, radio and TV advertisements; and on the web [3, 4]. Also in-store promotions in supermarkets and hardware outlets ‘to promote the campaign where Duracell batteries are sold’.

Smoke alarms are important – nay, vital – little gizmos. They literally save lives [5]. So making sure they work’s a no-brainer. So, as a volunteer firefighter and citizen and doctor, I’m in favour of CYC. But I have a couple of caveats: First, changing smoke alarm batteries annually means a very large number of batteries are discarded before the end of their useful life. In this regard, when smoke alarm batteries run low there’s a warning tone; and batteries are a waste disposal problem [6]. Second, I’m bothered by a private sector corporation (i.e. Duracell) entering into a financial arrangement with a public body (i.e. TFS). I know I’m old-fashioned, yesterday’s man, a sheep man in cattle country etc. And I can’t point to a practical downside to the CYC arrangement. I just think it’s wrong. In principle. That’s all. Ho hum.

1 comment:

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

We have wired in smoke alarms, there are also plug in ones that also monitor the carbon monoxide level, these are definite improvements, so often the regular battery fire alarms are overly reactive and each time you make toast go off, resulting in people removing the batteries and being without any fire alarm.
Because there were no batteries in the alarm a neighbour nearly lost her 3 year old to smoke inhalation, the 7 year old set light to the bed playing with a cigarette lighter and nine people ended up in hospital. Most of them released quickly but touch and go for the wee lad, for several days.
Fire is so fast and powerful. I watched the forest fires when I lived in the forest reserve outside Mount Gambier, fast and ruthless.
People could use the partially used batteries for some other device until they are really finished.