New data has revealed how common home fires have become in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
The research, conducted by ACT Fire & Rescue and obtained by Smoke Alarm Solutions, discovered the territory’s firefighters responded to 1,395 structural fires in 2017, including 275 house fires, a rise of 2.6 per cent compared to 2016.
There were 150 house fires in the ACT throughout Spring and Summer compared to 125 in Autumn and Winter, debunking the theory the risk of house fires increases during the colder months.
The research also discovered there were more than 3,500 automatic fire alarms connected and monitored in the ACT last year, providing vital early warning to occupants in higher-risk properties including multi-story buildings, hospitals, shopping centres, schools, universities, nursing homes and government buildings.
ACT Fire & Rescue also discovered 92 per cent of homes in the ACT have working smoke alarms, compared to just 75 per cent of homes in New South Wales and 85 per cent of Queensland homes.
Smoke Alarm Solutions CEO Cameron Davis said the ACT Fire & Rescue research proves ACT residents take fire safety seriously, but more can be done
“Working smoke alarms should be in every home, unfortunately eight percent or 31,791 ACT residents are gambling with their safety and the lives of family and friends,” Mr Davis said.
"Nobody thinks it’ll happen to them, but there will be 23 home fires in Canberra this month.
“Families and landlords have a responsibility to ensure their properties are safe. There is no better investment than an up-to-date and working smoke alarm.”
ACT smoke alarm legislation has been designed to protect tenants and means:
• Lessors cannot enter into tenancy agreements unless smoke alarms are installed within the property.
• Smoke alarms must comply with the Building Code of Australia.
• If homes are built after 1994, they must have at least 240v hard-wired alarms.
• Homes built prior to 1994 can have 9v battery-operated alarms.
• As per the Building Code of Australia, homes must have at least one smoke alarm per floor, and one in each space between bedrooms.
The five most common causes of home fires in Australia are unattended / abandoned (when something has been left alone, usually cooking, electrical failure, falling asleep, overheating and mechanical failure.
Smoke Alarm Solutions is the largest provider of smoke alarm compliance and maintenance services to the Australian real estate industry.
The company provides a comprehensive risk-mitigation service down Australia’s eastern seaboard, which ensures landlords do adhere to their legislative responsibilities, property managers meet their duty of care requirements and tenants are safe from the dangers of fire.
Smoke Alarm Solutions has also been proactive in educating the sector via its informative investor and Property Manager new legislation breakfasts.
Smoke Alarm Solutions primary aim is to provide a cost-effective and user-friendly service that will reduce the liability and stress surrounding such an imperative and intricate set of guidelines involved with smoke alarm compliance.