IMPORTANT AS EVER: Firefighters warn the importance of having working smoke alarms in houses.
IMPORTANT AS EVER: Firefighters warn the importance of having working smoke alarms in houses.

Firefighter reveals simple step to keeping families safe

HOME-owners and renters are encouraged to take action to ensure the safety of themselves and others during isolation periods.

Although local firefighters haven't been able to carry out the usual smoke alarm campaign this month, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have still decided to spread the word.

Acting Station Officer for Emerald, Darryl Reay says now is more important than ever to ensure homes are safe, while the country is in isolation amid COVID-19.

"The fact that there are more people at home during the day, you need to make sure they're well protected," he said.

"More electricity is being used and aircons are running more, so if there is a fault, the smoke alarm is crucial to notify you when something does happen."

Operation Safe Home, which generally runs from April 1, was to remind homeowners and occupiers of their responsibility to maintain or upgrade smoke alarms in their house or apartment.

"This can be either replacing the battery at the same time each year, or having a service contractor perform maintenance and testing," Mr Reay said.

"People carry out normal house maintenance like plumbing and general maintenance, and the smoke alarm is no different.

"It's part of the house and is just as vital as a working chair."

A spokesman said QFES acknowledged the challenges faced by landlords and their agents to comply with domestic smoke alarm installation and maintenance requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic but that legislation still had to be followed.

"Federal and Queensland Government Departments of Health directives must be followed at all times and in some circumstances may impact on the ability to fully comply with domestic smoke alarm legislation.

"However, the functionality of smoke alarms in domestic dwellings and units should be considered essential and the installation and replacement of faulty alarms must remain a priority."

Mr Reay put it simply.

"Smoke alarms do save lives and a non-working smoke alarm won't save a life," he said.

For any queries on smoke alarms and how to maintain it, email smokealarms@qfes.qld.gov.au.


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