2014 Aged and Disability Award winner and finalists

Smoke Alarms – advocacy and practice for “at risk” groups

Reserach conducted by MFB in partnership with Worcester Polytechnic Institute USA identified that older people aged 65 + and people with disability accounted for 66% of all preventable residential fire fatalities. Nearly 60% of these victims had no working smoke alarm and of significant concern was that most were also receiving support services via government funded community care programs.

This research highlighted the need to engage the community care sector in relation to client and worker fire safety and to promote best practice through including smoke alarm assessment and maintenance.

To achieve this outcome the MFB implemented the Smoke Alarms – advocacy and practice for “at risk” groups.

Though the multistage program they were able to:

  • lobby the Victorian Coroner which resulted in the Victorian Coroner that community care providers take on the role of installing, inspecting and maintaining clients smoke detectors be a national requirement
  • identify a supplier that could supply photoelectric smoke alarms with ten year long life lithium battery
  • formed a buyers group and negotiate a 50% discount of the smoke alarm unit price
  • Provide a of education program for community care providers.

As a result:

  • 11,000 smoke alarms to be installed in clients homes
  • This program has been delivered to 19 out of 24 councils in the MFB district and has opened these sessions up to not-for-profit providers who receive commonwealth funding.

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