Victorians are being urged to give themselves and their families the best chance of surviving a house fire by ensuring working smoke alarms are installed in all bedrooms.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville today launched a new advertising campaign at the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre with the MFB and the CFA, featuring people sleeping while dangerous smoke fills the room.
The new safety warning from fire agencies recognises the potentially deadly consequence of silence as a fire spreads while people sleep.
It marks a significant change to previous guidance that smoke alarms were only necessary outside bedrooms and in hallways.
CFA data collected over the past 10 years shows that bedroom fires were the most likely to cause death or serious injury, with our sense of smell and ability to detect smoke reduced as we sleep.
For fires that resulted in a death or serious injury, 25 per cent started in sleeping areas (22 deaths and 117 serious injuries), followed by lounge rooms (20 per cent) and kitchens (16 per cent).
Victorians are also being reminded to keep themselves and their family safe by:
- Making sure smoke alarms are interconnected so that when any alarm activates, all alarms will sound
- Powering smoke alarms with long-life lithium batteries
- Installing smoke alarms outside bedrooms and in hallways, as well as inside bedrooms and living areas
- Testing smoke alarms once a month
- Cleaning smoke alarms with a vacuum cleaner at least once a year
- Replacing smoke alarm batteries annually
- Replacing smoke alarms—including those attached to the mains power—every 10 years.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“Our sense of smell is diminished as we sleep, so a smoke alarm in the bedroom provides a vital early warning that could save your life.”
“Silence is deadly in the event of a fire, and it’s so important to remember that only working smoke alarms save lives.”
“Keep yourself and your family safe by regularly testing your smoke alarms, replacing the batteries annually, and making sure all alarms in the house are interconnected.”