Australia to Require Fire Alarms in Residences

State Parliament has passed legislation to help reduce fire dangers and save lives.

Emergency Services Minister Pat Purcell said the successful passage of the Fire and Rescue Service Amendment Bill 2006 was an important step forward for fire safety in Queensland.

''Lives will be saved and property losses will be reduced by this legislation. A key provision of the law requires all houses and units built before July 1, 1997 to have smoke alarms installed from July 1, 2007,'' he said.

Mr Purcell said homes built after July 1, 1997, were already required to have smoke alarms.

''Since 1997 smoke alarm coverage has increased from 38.7 per cent of homes in 1996 to 84.2 per cent in 2005. This new law aims to lift smoke alarm coverage significantly,'' he said.

''Smoke alarms are very important domestic safety devices. The risk of death from fire in a home is up to three times higher in homes without smoke alarms.

''In fact, in Queensland more than 78 per cent of all home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms.''