Qld house fire sparks urgent fire safety warning from peak electrical body

Master Electricians Australia RSS Feed

23 June 2015

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has today warned residents to install or have checked existing fire alarms, after flames engulfed a home on Brisbane’s south side last night.

MEA Chief Executive Malcolm Richards said it was a miracle that no members of the family of eight were in the house at the time of the fire, which did not have working smoke alarms.

“Every, single homeowner or renter must take extra precautions in winter. The first step is to check that smoke alarms are installed in the home and are working. If you need smoke alarms, make sure they are installed by an accredited electrician,” Mr Richards said.

“Any smoke detector is better than none at all, however we find the best smoke alarm on the market is a photoelectric smoke alarm. They detect a fire faster than ionisation type detectors, giving you and your family a high chance of survival.

“The costs of purchasing and installing the alarm are a small price to pay when you look at the bigger picture,” he said.

Coincidentally, today marks the 15-year anniversary of the Childers backpacker tragedy in which nine women and six men lost their lives after a deliberately lit fire engulfed the hostel they were staying in. The timber building did not have working smoke alarms. 

“You can never be too careful when it comes to the safety of loved ones as the smell of smoke simply will not wake you from a deep slumber until it’s too late. We don’t want to see any more properties go up in flames and we don’t want to see any more injury or loss of life due to inadequate safety measures.

“We are also warning all Australians to check their appliances for damages.

“Anything that is past its prime, including electric blankets and heaters, should be thrown away immediately.

“And as we’ve seen time and time again, safety switches save lives – so ensure you have safety switches on all circuits, which may prevent wiring from causing a fire.”   

If you are in need of an electrical contractor, contact your local Master Electrician on 1300 889 198.