Three quarters of all QLD residents are unaware of new mandatory smoke alarm regulations that come into effect on July 1 2007, according to a new survey by a leading fire protection company Wormald, and electronic security company, ADT Security.
“With only one month to go until the regulations apply the lack of community awareness and the confusion associated with the new law is very worrying,” said Mark Norton, General Manager ADT Security.
“Of concern is that the survey also revealed that one in 10 QLD residents do not have any smoke alarms in their home, leaving them particularly vulnerable not just to the risk of fire, but also great property and financial loss.”
The good news is that the majority of households in QLD (88%) have at least one smoke alarm installed. However, the survey also revealed that only one third of these homes (35%) are adequately protected against the risk of fire due to lack of ongoing maintenance.
Grant Le Helloco, Regional Sales Manager for Wormald, said, “Smoke alarms need to be regularly maintained and tested to make sure that they continue to work effectively, yet only one third of people are taking the time to vacuum to remove dust from their smoke alarms and one in five have not changed the battery in their smoke alarm(s) in the last twelve months.”
Although almost two thirds (64%) of respondents with one smoke alarm are of the opinion that meeting the minimum legal requirements is sufficient to fully protect their home against the risk of fire, residents can and should do more than simply comply with the legislation.
“The minimum legal requirements depend on the layout, size and sleeping arrangements of each home and may not be as straight-forward as simply installing one smoke alarm in your home. For example, the regulations require homes with more than one storey to have a smoke alarm on each level and homes with bedrooms not grouped in the one area are required to install a smoke alarm in the hallway or corridor of each separate sleeping area,” said Grant Le Helloco
“Compliance is a start, however we are urging QLD residents to consider installing more sophisticated systems in their homes such as hard wired or back-to-base monitoring of smoke alarms to maximise the chances of receiving an early warning,” said Mark Norton.
The survey also shows that many people are confused about the new changes with a common misconception that the law only applies to new buildings, renovations or rental properties.
Although smoke alarms provide the early warning residents need to survive, Wormald and ADT Security recommend residents consider other basic safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets and intruder alarms.
Young children or elderly family members can sometimes sleep through smoke alarms. 24/7 back-to-base monitoring of your smoke alarm gives your family the life saving seconds you might need and provides additional peace of mind, to help protect your home and family when you need it most.