Brigades push for alarm changes

Lismore Fire Brigade senior firefighter Mike Grunske and firefighter Justin Hyde with a photo-electric smoke alarm.
Lismore Fire Brigade senior firefighter Mike Grunske and firefighter Justin Hyde with a photo-electric smoke alarm. Jacklyn Wagner

AFTER attending 1029 fires across the Northern Rivers between May 2011 and April 2012 Lismore fire fighters are calling on people to prepare their homes for the winter fire season.

Lismore fire station commander Erin Rampling said an easy way for people to ensure their home was protected this fire season was to do a home fire safety audit.

"A fire can take hold in just three minutes but it only takes moments to prevent one," he said.

"Like turning off the heater when going to bed or changing the batteries of your smoke alarm and planning ahead."

However, the World Fire Safety Foundation Chairman said more than 90% of Northern Rivers home owners are in danger due to inferior smoke alarms.

Former fire fighter Adrian Butler said the majority of homes are fitted with ionisation smoke alarms which have a slower response time to smouldering fires than the superior photo-electric alarms.

"In smouldering fires where the heat is low the fire produces few sub-micron particles and in most cases the ionisation alarm will not operate," Mr Butler said.

This detection delay could be the difference between life and death.

Mr Butler said it was about time the NSW Government followed the lead of the Northern Territory which, on November 1 last year, legislated all new premises must install photo-electric alarms.

"In commercial buildings you have to put photo- electric alarms in so why do we have one standard for commercial buildings and a completely separate standard for our homes where we sleep? It's insane," he said.

Mr Butler said the easiest way to identify an ionisation smoke alarm was to look for a yellow radioactive symbol when changing the batteries.

A spokesperson for NSW Fire Commissioner Greg Mullins said Fire and Rescue NSW recommended home owners install photo- electric alarms.

"Fire and Rescue NSW supports research that indicates that photo- electric smoke alarms are more effective in some common situations," the spokesperson said.

"It was for this reason that Fire and Rescue NSW initiated a national change of policy which was adopted by all Australian fire services, to recommend photo-electric alarms, rather than ionisation alarms."

Mr Rampling said parents needed to educate their children about knowing the nearest cross street, address and phone number as it could assist fire fighters in an emergency.

He said he encouraged people to visit the Lismore Fire station this Saturday from 10am for their annual open day to coincide with Fire Prevention Week.

For information on conducting a home fire safety audit visit










SMS 0428 264 948, email

or go to

Topics:  fire alarm

Airbnb battle destroys good relations

Residents afraid to speak out

North Coast woman scammed by 'military man'

A Lismore woman has fallen victim to an internet romance scam

The Living End are coming to Byron Bay

The Living End

The Living End are going on the road in 2017 for a regional tour

Local Partners

'You Spin Me Round' hitmaker dies aged 57

Pete Burns

Pete Burns has died aged 57

November will be a big month for NORPA

ARTS: NORPA has added new shows to the Dreamland season from November 23 to December 10.

Peter Garrett, Dreamland and the 2017 Season Launch, among others

REVIEW: Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead disgusted me

I'm disgusted by The Walking Dead premiere.

SPOILERS: The Walking Dead premiere disgusted me.

Flick teases intense and entertaining Survivor grand final

Felicity 'Flick' Eggington in a scene from the TV series Australian Survivor.

GOLD Coaster's elimination leaves Lee, El and Kristie in final three

Priscilla concerned people will forget about Elvis

Priscilla Presley source Bang

She says she feels responsible to keep his legacy going

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.