USA, England, NZ more fire conscious than NSW residents
6 December 2018
Damning new research has revealed NSW residents are lagging behind the USA, England, New Zealand and Canada when it comes to smoke alarm safety.

Over 92 per cent of homes in the U.S.A.[1] and England [2] have at least one smoke alarm installed in there home. Over 83 per cent of homes in New Zealand [3] and Canada [4] have a working smoke alarm installed and 80 per cent of properties in Ireland [5] have smoke alarms.

In stark contrast, just 75 per cent of NSW properties have operational smoke alarms [6].

Research, conducted by Fire & Rescue NSW and obtained by Smoke Alarm Solutions, discovered the state’s firefighters attended on average 9.6 home fires every day or 291.6 each month.

The research also showed the fatality rate of home fires is double that of bushfires in NSW and claims 21 lives every year.

However, global smoke alarm research did indicate the prevalence of smoke alarms in NSW is superior to Denmark and France. Only 73 per cent of Danish households [7] have at least one smoke alarm and only 15 per cent of properties in France [8] are fitted with smoke alarms.

Smoke Alarm Solutions CEO, Cameron Davis, says the international rankings prove NSW residents are nonchalant about fire safety.

“Working smoke alarms should be in every home, but one in four NSW residents are betting on the lives of their family and friends,” he says.

"Nobody thinks it’ll happen to them, but home fires will claim two lives in NSW this month.

“Families and landlords have a responsibility to ensure their properties are safe. There is no better investment than an up-to-date and working smoke alarm.”

NSW legislation requires all residents to have at least one working smoke alarm installed on each level of the premises. This includes owner-occupied homes, rental properties, relocatable homes, caravans, moveable dwellings or any other residential building where people sleep.

The five most common causes of home fires in Australia are unattended/abandoned (when something has been left alone, usually cooking, electrical failure, falling asleep, overheating and mechanical failure.

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1 National Center for Biotechnology Information (USA)
2 UK Department of Communities and Local Government
3 Fire and Emergency New Zealand
4 Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services (Ontario)
5 Meath County Council
6 Fire & Rescue NSW
7 Safety foundation TrygFonden, emergency authority Beredskabsstyrelsen and the energy authority Energistyrelsen