Bob Wiese

Bob Wiese


    Homebuilders urged to include smoke alarms in new homes

    20/07/1996 12:00 AM



    Emergency Services Minister Bob Wiese today urged all Western Australian homebuilders to include smoke alarms as a standard item for a new home.


    Mr Wiese congratulated one of WA's biggest home builders, National Homes, for setting a new safety precedent with the company's offer of including smoke alarms within the purchase price of a new home. The safety initiative was officially launched today - National Smoke Alarm Day - by the Fire and Rescue Service and National Homes.


    National Homes will install two mains-operated, interlinked smoke alarms near the main and auxiliary bedrooms of every house sold.


    "It is great to see one of this State's major home builders taking responsibility for community safety and I would like to encourage other home builders also to adopt this very important safety initiative," the Minister said.


    He said a smoke alarm significantly increased a person's chance of survival by providing those vital extra moments needed to get out of the house.


    "The human sense of smell shuts down when a person is asleep, but the sound of a properly fitted smoke alarm can alert a sleeping person, giving him or her a much greater chance of avoiding injury or death," he said.


    "Just a few breaths of the highly poisonous smoke generated by burning carpets and furnishings is enough to render an adult unconscious or leave him/her choking and disorientated.


    "Homes should be places of safety and comfort, but they have the potential to be death traps if fire safety precautions are ignored."


    Mr Wiese said the offer from National Homes would result in about 700 new homes built in WA each year now being equipped with smoke alarms.


    He said during the last 18 months house fires had caused the death of 15 people in WA - nine of whom might have been saved if smoke alarms had been installed.


    "Smoke alarms are particularly important in the homes of asthma sufferers who may have increased vulnerability to smoke and also for people with young families, the elderly and those with impaired mobility who need extra time to escape," the Minister said.


    Media contact: Mark Thompson 222 9595