No smoke alarms in some homes

FIREFIGHTERS and the State Government have launched a $600,000 smoke alarm campaign after statistics revealed 10% of Queensland homes don't have working fire detectors.

The campaign will consist of a mail-out to every Queensland home and post office box as well as advertising.

Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said the 2011 Report on Government Services showed that only around 90% of Queensland homes had a working smoke alarm fitted, despite it being the law.

He said last year there was actually a decrease in the proportion of Queensland homes fitted with a smoke alarm - an alarming trend.

"House fires can be deadly," he said. "Tragically, 18 people have lost their lives in residential house fires in Queensland since the start of this year, including the devastating loss of 11 lives in a fire at Slack's Creek around six weeks ago."

In the past four months alone there have been 671 residential fires in Queensland.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service fire commissioner Lee Johnson said evidence was growing that photoelectric smoke alarms were more likely to save lives in a wider range of fires. "Statistics show that most people die in night-time fires that take hold when they are asleep," he said.

"These types of fires sneak up on you... It is in the critical early stages of a fire that photoelectric smoke alarms come into their own, because they more effectively detect particles of smoke before there are flames."

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