Fire and Emergency New Zealand's Whanganui team is urging people to change the batteries in their smoke alarms this weekend after a Gonville household had a lucky escape from a fire.

The electrical fire, which started in a bedroom of the Gonville Ave house on Thursday evening, was extinguished by the owner before the fire crew arrived.

"It was minor and not enough to trigger the smoke alarm but they were lucky to have caught it and got everyone out of the house," Whanganui station officer Bryan Coskerie said.

"It's a timely reminder to make sure you have working smoke alarms and to change the batteries this weekend when daylight saving starts."

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Smoke alarm tips:

- Your alarms will start to beep regularly if the battery is low. Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. The alarms will also need to be replaced after a while - long-life ones typically last up to 10 years.

- Once a month, check the battery by pressing the test button. If you cannot reach the button easily, use a broom handle.

- Consider purchasing long-life photoelectric smoke alarms. These will give up to 10 years of smoke detection without battery replacements. However, you should still test them regularly to make sure they're working correctly.

- Dust and debris can stop alarms from working properly so vacuum over and around your smoke alarms regularly.

Daylight saving begins at 2am on Sunday, September 24. Clocks go forward one hour.