New rules on smoke alarms

INQUEST: Investigators examine the scene of the fire at a Slacks Creek house in 2011 that claimed the lives of 11 people including eight children.
INQUEST: Investigators examine the scene of the fire at a Slacks Creek house in 2011 that claimed the lives of 11 people including eight children. Griffith Thomas

IT HAS been 15 months since Coroner James McDougall delivered the findings of his inquest into the fatal Slacks Creek house fire of 2011.

The fire was to cause the greatest loss of life in a domestic house fire in Australian history.

Eleven people lost their lives, eight of whom were children.

In his report, McDougall recommended the implementation of legislation to make photoelectric alarms compulsory in all homes.

"The recommendations suggested by QFES and made by me as part of this inquest will lead directly to lives being saved if they are implemented," he said.

On Tuesday, the Palaszczuk Government moved to mandate the installation of smoke alarms in the bedrooms of all Queensland homes.

The Logan House Fire Support Network, along with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) have been advocating for the use of photoelectric alarms since their establishment, shortly after the Slacks Creek tragedy.

The tragic deaths in Beenleigh of two-year-old Roman Campbell-Warwick in a house fire in May last year, as well as that of mother and son Crystal and Baileigh Cartledge, who perished in a unit fire three months later in the same suburb saw renewed calls by the LHFSN for every house to have photoelectric smoke alarms installed.

Founder Christine Naumovski said they were extremely happy about the new laws, which Fire and Emergency Services Minister Bill Byrne introduced to State Parliament.

"The bill requires photoelectric smoke alarms to be installed in the bedrooms and connecting areas of all homes," she said.

"This is what we have been advocating for."

The Government said the planned changes would be phased in over 10 years, with new or substantially renovated dwellings required to comply from 2017.

Member for Waterford Shannon Fentiman said the implementation process would see about 72,000 state-owned housing properties fitted with smoke alarms that meet the new safety standards within five years.

Topics:  house fire slacks creek smoke alarms

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