Tougher Queensland smoke alarm laws to come into play

CALL ANSWERED: Logan House Fire Support Network founder Louie Naumovski spent three years campaigning for tougher smoke alarm legislation. Photo: Supplied
CALL ANSWERED: Logan House Fire Support Network founder Louie Naumovski spent three years campaigning for tougher smoke alarm legislation. Photo: Supplied

Louie Naumovski’s plea to have the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms a mandatory legislative requirement in homes across Queensland has finally been answered.

As of January 1, 2017, new laws will come into effect, requiring Queenslanders to install upgraded devices.

Mr Naumovski, founder of the Logan House Fire Support Network, said photoelectric smoke alarms were far superior to the ionisation model.

“A photoelectric smoke alarm can actually see the smoke,” he said.

“It’s quicker, longer-lasting and more reliable; whereas the ionisation model is slower at alarming residents of smouldering fires and are prone to false alarms, like when someone overcooks toast.”

Under the new legislation – which passed in Queensland Parliament in August, 2016 – photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms will need to be fitted in every hallway and bedroom of Queensland homes.

All houses built or significantly renovated in 2017 will need to comply with the smoke alarm legislation upon completion.

Private dwellings will have 10 years to meet smoke alarm requirements, and houses leased or sold will have five years to meet compliance.

“For a standard four-bedroom home, it’s going to cost about $750 to install photoelectric smoke alarms,” Mr Naumovski said.

“While it may seem costly, it actually works out to be less than $1.50 a week to keep your family safe for the next ten years.

“That’s when we recommend changing your smoke alarm.”

In 2016, emergency services were called to 454 house fires across south-east Queensland, in which 14 people died.

The Logan area had 134 house fires; the Scenic Rim, 14, and Ipswich, 76.

“There were 1900 house fires in Queensland this year, which equates to one every 4.8 hours,” Mr Naumovski said.

“The statistics are shocking and why it’s so important to upgrade your smoke alarm.

“The photoelectric device is reliable and will notify you of something burning almost immediately.

“If you can afford to have one installed in every room, do it now; if you can’t, do one now and another in six months.

“Do it step by step.”

Mr Naumovski advised residents to also re-evaluate their escape plans.

For more information on smoke alarms and how to make your home fire safe, visit www.loganhousefiresupportnetwork.com.