These new laws have been implemented in Queensland due to several fires which have tragically resulted in multiple fatalities in each instance.
Coronial inquest findings noted that had each property been fitted with functioning smoke alarms the occupants may have stood a better chance of survival.
Early smoke / fire detection improves escape time from a burning building. During a fire emergency, it was not only the heat and flames themselves which presented a life-threatening hazard, many victims were first overcome by an accumulation of smoke and toxic fumes.
Slacks Creek House Fire – Brisbane
Just before midnight on 23rd August 2011, an accidental fire ripped through a house in Slacks Creek, South Brisbane.
The fire was to cause the greatest loss of life in a domestic house fire in Australian history, with a total of 11 people (including many children) perishing due to smoke inhalation.
A finding from the 2014 Coronial Inquest stated that;
‘Once this particular fire started, it is likely that some or all of the deaths would have been prevented if the sleeping occupants had been quickly awoken and had realised that they needed to leave the house as quickly as possible … smoke alarms were either not present in the dwelling or were not maintained’.
Many recommendations from the Coronial Inquest were incorporated into the QLD Building Fire Safety (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Legislation Amendment Regulation 2016.
The legislation itself may be viewed at the Queensland Government website below;
Palace Backpackers Fire – Childers
On 23rd June 2000 at 1am a disgruntled resident deliberately lit a fire inside the Palace Backpackers Hostel in Childers, southeast Queensland.
The fire spread rapidly throughout the old timber building and the hostel did not have working smoke detectors or alarms. The result? 15 young people sadly lost their lives. The devastating effect of this event is still evident on the local township to this day.
The arsonist was captured by police and sentenced to life in prison.