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The Courier Mail

QUEENSLAND’S Fire and Emergency Services boss is pushing for the State Government to make it mandatory to install photoelectric smoke alarms in homes to cut the growing number of deaths in house fires.

Commissioner Katarina Carroll revealed the QFES had made a submission to the Palaszczuk Government, declaring the reform would “save lives”.

The QFES argues photoelectric detectors are “more effective” than cheaper ionisation alarms because they “see the smoke” and are good at sensing smouldering fires. It is estimated it would cost between $350 and $500 for a new home to be fitted with hardwired, interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms.

Queensland firefighter James Steven with a photoelectric smoke alarm.
Queensland firefighter James Steven with a photoelectric smoke alarm.

“Photoelectric alarms might be a little bit more expensive but I want to see the percentage of them increase dramatically because, for us, it is about saving lives,’’ Ms Carroll said.

Figures reveal up to 15 per cent, or about 247,000 homes in Queensland either don’t have alarms, or they don’t work. Ms Carroll said the QFES backed Coroner James McDougall’s findings into the fire that killed 11 people at Slacks Creek in 2011.

Coroner McDougall found working smoke alarms would probably have saved lives in Slacks Creek, and recommended installation of photoelectric smoke alarms in all buildings where people sleep. In Queensland, nearly half of all house fire deaths occur when people are sleeping.

View the original article here.

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