Join the conversation
Follow us on

The Alarming Truth

October 20, 2014

Loading Video...

The Alarming Truth: part one



"The Queensland Coroner has come out with his findings after the inquest into the terrible Slacks Creek Fire, which killed 11 people in the same family, and his recommendations are a legacy of their deaths - a wonderful outcome from such a terrible tragedy that gripped the hearts of all Australians.

The Coroner has recommended that laws are changed to minimise the possibility of a similar tragedy reoccurring.

He recommended that every area of a house where people sleep in Queensland must have Photo Electric smoke alarms installed and this includes any part of the house between the bedrooms and the remainder of the house and in any other storey not containing bedrooms; and that all smoke alarms be interconnected. 

With much gratitude I thank 60 Minutes for taking on a difficult story and getting to the heart of this critical public safety issue where approved ionisation smoke alarms are so bad that more than 30% of people disconnect them.  Even more tragic is that those who don’t disconnect them think they are safe because they are so sensitive because they activate when families are cooking.  These people are completely unaware that if a fire starts with a smouldering smoke, while they sleep at night, their ionisation alarms may not ‘go off’ at all and if they do, it will be typically so late in the fire, they may not escape...

I desperately hope all States and Territories across Australia understand the importance of this crucial story and the Queensland Coroner’s recommendations and protect their own citizens with legislation mandating Photo Electric Alarms."

David P. Isaac
Fire Safety Consultant


It was Australia's most deadly house fire. Ever. Eleven people, eight of them children, were killed as an inferno engulfed the home in which they were sleeping. Two families, together for a cousins sleepover, ripped apart by tragedy. Three years after that fatal fire at Slacks Creek, south of Brisbane, the scars remain raw for the survivors. Disturbingly for the rest of us, authorities have not heeded the lessons from the tragedy. As this 60 Minutes special investigation reveals, Australia's most popular fire alarm, the one that's likely fitted in your home, is unlikely to save you.

Reporter: Karl Stefanovic
Producer: Rebecca Le Tourneau


REPORTER INTERVIEW with Karl Stefanovic 



Find out how to change your smoke alarm here.

Access your Home Owners Guide to Smoke Alarm Safety here.

Visit the Logan House Fire Support Network here.

Check out more from 60 Minutes


Your feedback on the "Lifesaver" story

60 Minutes Feedback