4387.3 - Safety in the Home, Queensland, Oct 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/04/2002   
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April 29, 2002
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Home smoke alarms increase by three-quarters in Queensland

Smoke alarms have become a common safety feature in Queensland homes according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with the proportion of homes fitted with smoke detectors increasing by three-quarters in the five years to October 2001.

The proportion of Queensland homes with smoke detectors increased from 39% to 69% over the five years between October 1996 and October 2001. Households with young children and elderly people were more fire conscious with almost three-quarters (74% and 73% respectively) fitted with smoke alarms.

A higher proportion of Brisbane households (73%) had smoke alarms compared with households in the rest of Queensland (66%).

Of the households with smoke alarms installed, just under 13% were tested 'more than once a month' and 19% reported they never tested their smoke alarms or smoke detectors.

While smoke alarms have become a more common safety feature in the home other areas of home, safety have not changed significantly over the past five years.

While almost half of all households had an adjustable hot water thermostat (49%) this has not significantly increased (47% in 1996).

Just over one-quarter (26%) had anti-slip surfaces or strips, including rubber mats, used or fitted in the bath or shower, unchanged from 1996.

The majority of households (70%) had internal or external steps or stairs. Of those, one-quarter had guards or gates at the top and/or bottom of the steps/stairs. In 1996, 68% of households had internal or external steps or stairs with 22% of those having guards or gates at the top and/or bottom of the steps/stairs.

Just over one-fifth (21%) of all households had a swimming pool or outdoor spa. The most common precaution used to prevent children from drowning was 'child resistant fencing/self locking gate' ,with 82% protected this way. In 1996, 19% of all households had a swimming pool, however no other comparative information was collected.

There were 271,300 households (19%) with playground equipment . The most popular type of playground equipment were swings (70%), followed by trampolines (49%). This information was not collected in 1996.

Details are in Safety in the Home, Queensland (cat. no. 4387.3).