Smoke alarms do save lives
While it is not compulsory to have smoke alarms inside of bedrooms in Victoria, the CFA and MFB are about to undertake an awareness campaign highlighting the importance of smoke alarms in all bedrooms.
The reasoning behind this is that your sense of smell diminishes while you are asleep and if a fire was to ever start in your bedroom during this time, I’m sure you’d like to know about it straight away.
The number of Victorians with smoke alarms inside their bedrooms is remarkably low at 16%. In Queensland, they have made it compulsory to have hardwired smoke alarms or smoke alarms with a 10 year battery in all bedrooms, among other areas. This even applies to existing buildings, not just newly constructed dwellings. Victoria doesn’t have this requirement as yet.
Last year the CFA published some scary statistics on preventable house fires. The top three causes were cooking, electrical and heating. In 2017 there were almost 1600 preventable fires with bedrooms being a common room for these fires to start.
When buying smoke alarms, they must comply with Australian Standard AS3786:2014 which must be printed on the alarm. It’s worth noting that while most smoke alarms appear to be all the same, there is a relatively new product called Nest Protect which also detects carbon monoxide. There are many other excellent features also.