Smoke alarms lead to house fire escape

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Occupants inside a Girgarre East property safely evacuated before fire destroyed their home this week, thanks to a working smoke alarm.


Firefighters were called to a house fire on Girgarre East Road at around 2.20am on 3 August.

Crews arrived to find a single-story weatherboard house fully involved by fire and the two occupants had safely self-evacuated.

Ten CFA fire trucks and more than 40 volunteer firefighters responded, supported by several additional vehicles and personnel.

CFA Commander Rohan Taylor said the smoke alarms saved their lives.

“The family was able to escape from a rapidly intensifying fire in the early hours of the morning because the smoke alarms in their home provided that early warning,” he said.

“Working smoke alarms save lives.

“Interconnected smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, hallway and living area of your home.”

The scene was deemed under control at about 3.35am and declared safe just before 8am.

“Crews did a fantastic job of bringing this fire under control and ensuring the welfare of the two occupants,” Commander Taylor said

The fire was caused by a log rolling out of the fireplace inside the home.

“This is a timely reminder for people to ensure they are practising fire safety inside their homes during the cooler months,” Commander Taylor said.

“A secure guard or fireproof screen should always be used to prevent sparks and wood from falling out of the fireplace.”

For more information about smoke alarms, visit

Smoke alarm tips:

  • Victorian fire services recommend additional smoke alarms are installed in every living area and bedroom. 
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected so that when any alarm activates, all smoke alarms will sound.
  • Legislation requires smoke alarms to be installed outside every sleeping area and on each level of a house. 
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected so that when any alarm activates, all smoke alarms will sound.
  • All smoke alarms, including 240v hardwired, should be replaced every 10 years.
  • Fire services also recommend the use of smoke alarms powered by a 10-year lithium battery.
  • Replaceable batteries in a smoke alarm need to be changed yearly.
  • Smoke alarms should be tested monthly as per the manufacturer’s guide, by pressing the test button on the alarm and wait for the test alarm to sound.
  • Smoke alarms should be cleaned at least once a year with a duster or vacuum cleaner to remove particles that will affect smoke alarm performance.


Submitted by CFA News & Media