Caravans, motorhomes and campervans have limited options to get out in the event of a fire so you really only have a few seconds…and in some States it is a mandatory requirement that smoke alarms be installed in all caravans and motorhomes. Having a warning from a smoke alarm can mean the difference between life and death, so it is vital that they are maintained properly. Fire and Rescue NSW suggests the following maintenance plan: Every month – test your smoke alarm to make sure that the battery and alarm sounder are working Every six months – clean your smoke alarm with a vacuum cleaner to remove any particles that might reduce its performance. You should also change 9V batteries twice a year, and a good reminder is the beginning and end of Daylight Saving time. Once a year – if your alarm contains a removable alkaline battery, then this should be replaced every year Every ten years – the alarm should be completely replaced with a new unit every ten years, including those that contain a lithium battery. To help you identify when an alarm was manufactured, just take a look at the serial number or batch number on the base of the alarm. Batch numbers indicate the week and year of the unit’s manufacture. For instance, a batch number of 1505 would indicate that the alarm was manufactured in the 15th week of 2005. For more information on smoke alarms just visit the Fire and Rescue NSW website by clicking here.