Coronial Inquest into house fire discusses smoke alarms

A coronial inquest into Australia’s worst ever house fire heard from the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service on Thursday.

11 members of two families lost their lives in the blaze at Slacks Creek, north of the Gold Coast, in August 2011.  There were three survivors.

The ABC reported that QFRS chief state community safety operations director Neil Reid said the service wanted changes to smoke alarm regulations.


“The recommendation is that we install smoke alarms in bedrooms and inter-connect them with the ones in the hallway to give the people more chance of getting out when there is a fire,” he said.

Mr Reid said change was needed but should happen gradually.

“The big thing with that is we understand that comes at a cost and we’ve recommended that that not be brought out tomorrow as a blanket rule,” he said.

He said research by Victoria University found if homes had inter-connecting alarms in each room, 50 per cent of lives lost would have been saved over the past 10 years.

The inquest had been told that the home had not had working smoke alarms for years because they were “too noisy”.

Earlier in the week the inquest heard  that a burning cigarette had been ruled out as a possible cause of the blaze.

Family spokesman Louie Naumovski told the ABC the news meant a lot to Tau Taufa, who lost his wife, daughter and three granddaughters.

“There were some doubts out there and obviously Mr Taufa is a smoker; that had a big bearing on him over the past three years so he will be very happy to hear this report that we’ve heard today,” he said.