Allianz welcomes mandatory smoke alarms and new Government advertising campaign

30 May, 2007

Allianz Australia welcomes the announcement by the Queensland Emergency Services Minister, Pat Purcell, of the Government advertising campaign about the dangers of smoke and house fires to support the introduction of mandatory smoke alarms on 1 July 2007”, according to Nicholas Scofield, General Manager Corporate Affairs.

Smoke alarm

“Each year, numerous household fires destroy dwellings and take lives or cause injury. Of people killed by fire, most of die in their own homes. But the majority of victims don’t die from the burns they suffer, they succumb to smoke poisoning. A significant proportion of house fires occur at night and an increase in the carbon monoxide content of the air means that sleeping occupants can drift into unconsciousness, without even waking up. Thus, the advertisement’s night setting and focus on smoke very much reflects reality, “ Mr Scofield stated.

Against this background, Allianz also fully concurs with Mr Purcell’s comment that ‘fire is not the killer, rather it’s the smoke which sedates people, putting them into a deeper sleep that is the most dangerous aspect,’ Mr Scofield said.

Mr Scofield highlighted that fact that the toxins contained in smoke contribute to the life-threatening effect of carbon monoxide, so that the poisonous gases present in smoke can often lead to death within the space of a few minutes. Smoke alarms can save lives in cases like this because they give occupants valuable minutes that may mean the difference between life and death – irrespective of whether it’s at night or if a fire starts in a distant room of a large apartment or house.

According to Mr Scofield, “the use of smoke alarms in private households is clearly reflected in statistics from countries where the installation of these alarms is common.“

“The total number of people killed as a result of fire was reduced by 40 percent in the USA where 90 percent of households have a smoke alarm. In Sweden, the number of fire deaths halved, even though only 70 percent of households had smoke alarms.“

“Despite these results, there art still too many households that do not have smoke alarms. This is certainly not due to the costs involved. Good-quality, reliable smoke alarms can be obtained for less than $30. “

Media enquiries:
Nicholas Scofield
Allianz Australia Ltd
Ph. 0416 088 414

Allianz Australia offers a wide range of insurance products and services including car insurance, home insurance and Life insurance.