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TOPIC - Home Fire Safety

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Lesson 4 - Smoke Alarms

Lesson objectives:

  • For students to know the importance of having working smoke alarms in their home.
  • For students to know how to keep their smoke alarm in working order.


Smoke Alarms (developed for Fired Up English resource)

Key messages:

  • Only working smoke alarms save lives.
  • It is law in Victoria to have at least one smoke alarm on each level of every home.
  • It is recommended to have a smoke alarm in every room where someone sleeps.
  • Without a working smoke alarm in your home you are four times more likely to die in a fire.
  • When you are asleep you can't smell smoke. A smoke alarm is your electronic nose. It will alert you if there is smoke from a fire and beep loudly.
  • A small fire can burn an entire room in just two to three minutes.
  • A smoke alarm provides early warning and time to escape.
  • If your smoke alarm is beeping when you are cooking, move it back from the kitchen away from the stove.

Tips to keep your smoke alarm in working order:

  • Test your smoke alarms once a month. The alarm should produce a loud "beep, beep, beep" sound when you press the test button.
  • Clean your smoke alarms at least once a year. Gently clean dust around the outside cover.
  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Replace the battery every year.
  • Waiting until the smoke alarm beeps before you change the battery is too late - this indicates the battery is already flat and your family is not protected.

Renters and Landlords

  • It is the landlord's responsibility to install and maintain smoke alarms within their properties.

It is the renter's responsibility to:

  • Test the smoke alarm every month to make sure it is working.
  • Contact their agent/landlord if the smoke alarm is not working.
  • Contact their agent/landlord if the smoke alarm emits an occasional chirping noise as this means the battery or unit itself is faulty.

Levels 0-1 teaching tools and activities:

Activity 4.1 Key Words and Images Smoke Alarms. If possible have a smoke alarm to show to the class and practice testing it.

Activity 4.2 Smoke Alarms Placement Worksheet

Levels 2-4 teaching tools and activities:

Activity 4.3 Smoke Alarms Matching Worksheet

Activity 4.4 Smoke Alarm Quiz
                    - Quiz sheet
                    - Answer sheet

Activity 4.5 CFA News and Media article series. Break students into small groups and ask them to read the articles. Then as a group discuss what happened and how it could have been avoided.

Extra Resources:

Smoke Alarm brochure in English and other languages