New laws mandating the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms in all Queensland homes will make households safer, the State Government says.
Laws have been passed to make smoke alarms mandatory in all bedrooms as part of the Government’s response to a coroner’s report into Australia’s worst house fire at Slacks Creek, south of Brisbane, in 2011.
Eleven people, including eight children, died when a fire tore through the Logan property.
The house was fitted with two smoke alarms but neither had worked for several years.
Queensland smoke alarm law rollout:
By January 1, 2017: All new dwellings or substantially renovated properties
By January 2022: All dwellings sold or leased; all Government-owned housing
By January 2027: All domestic dwellings
Emergency Services Minister Bill Byrne said the legislation passed overnight also required the smoke alarms to be interconnected, and either hardwired or fitted with a 10-year battery to ensure they gave people the best chance of survival.
Mr. Byrne said says the laws would be phased in over 10 years.
“On the 1st of January 2017, photoelectric alarms will be required to be installed in homes any time a smoke alarm is being replaced or a new one is being installed in any way,” he said.
“The evidence is overwhelming that interconnected smoke alarms and installing them in bedrooms greatly increases the chances of families escaping from fires unharmed.
“The Palaszczuk Government will not sit back while more Queensland families are torn apart by house fires.”
The Opposition supported mandating the smoke alarms but raised concern that the time frame could put financial pressure on households.