News & Media

Smoke alarm program saves victim’s life

By: Duncan Russell

Category: Community Safety

  2.58 PM 25 September, 2017


Location: District 23 News

Views: 3355

A woman whose life was saved by a smoke alarm during an alleged arson attack had had the device installed by firefighters less than 18 months earlier.

Courtesy of The Border Mail

A woman whose life was saved by a smoke alarm during an alleged arson attack had had the device installed by firefighters less than 18 months earlier.

Wangaratta Fire Brigade members visit the homes of elderly and infirm people who are unable to install the alarms or replace the batteries. They visited the 81-year-old woman’s home in April last year, and returned to replace the batteries earlier this year.

The woman’s neighbour, Lisa Hay, is accused of setting the house on fire following other recent fires in the street. She is in custody.

The 81-year-old was woken by the smoke alarm and managed to escape before flames engulfed the property.

Operations officer Trevor Logan said firefighters had run the program for more than three years.

“There is no doubt that if there hadn’t been working smoke alarms that night, it would have been a tragedy,” he said.

“There was no smoke alarm there prior to 2016. The council sponsors CFA so that if there’s an elderly or infirm resident who can’t maintain their smoke alarms, or has no-one to help, we can go around and repair, replace or check them.

“This is a great example where a community safety initiative has saved lives.”

Mr Logan said Wangaratta brigade was keen for businesses to sponsor the Program to keep it running.

“It’s not a big cost. It’s just a smoke alarm here and there and a heap of 9-volt batteries,” he said.

“The bulk of our work is just changing batteries, but if we come across an alarm more than 10 years old, we replace it.”

Anyone keen to sponsor the initiative can contact the brigade on (03) 5721 2486.

Last Updated: 26 September 2017