Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

New Smoke Detector Laws Will Save Lives

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

New Smoke Detector Laws Will Save Lives

Article excerpt

QUEENSLAND homes will become safer in the next decade under comprehensive legislation introduced to parliament by Fire and Emergency Services Minister Bill Byrne to mandate the installation of high-tech smoke detectors by 2027.

Announcing the new regulations late last month, Mr Byrne said the important reforms were about saving lives.

"Tragically, more than 150 people have died in house fires in Queensland since 2004," Mr Byrne said.

"We know smoke alarms play a critical role in letting people know there is a fire and greatly increase the chances of people getting out and getting out quickly.

"However, their effectiveness depends on the type of alarm used, where they're located, their power source and whether they are connected to one another."

Under the planned changes to be phased in across 10 years, smoke alarms in domestic dwellings must be photoelectric, hard-wired or powered by a 10-year lithium battery, installed in bedrooms in addition to living areas and escape paths, and connected to other alarms in the house.

Mr Byrne said the State Government was committed to eliminating house fire fatalities and was acting on the recommendations of the State Coroner.

"We have acted because community safety is a priority and the coroner made very clear recommendations," Mr Byrne said.

"Working smoke alarms save lives.

"This is about ensuring all Queenslanders are using the best possible smoke alarms available to maximise their chances of getting their families out of a house fire in time.

"A recent bill introduced by the LNP did not implement all recommendations of the coroner in relations to this - Labor has listened to the coroner and listened to the experts."

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said action needed to be taken to ensure Queenslanders never saw a repeat of the horrific house fire that claimed 11 lives and devastated the southside community of Logan. …

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