In 2011, a family lost 11 of its members, 8 of which were children as a fire engulfed their home at Slacks Creek, Queensland. It is now known as Australia’s worst residential house fire. As I went to pay my respects, I saw a need for assistance in the community after the devastation of a house fire.
After a fire destroys their home, most families have nowhere to turn. They are left with nothing and are unsure of what steps to take afterwards.
In 2014, I was contacted by another family who needed help as they had lost their home and tragically one of their family members. Seeing first-hand the impact a house fire and loss of life has, I established Logan House Fire Support Network as a not-for-profit charity – supporting the victims and survivors of house fires.
In 2015 I began lobbying the State Government to mandate photoelectric smoke alarms. A private members bill was introduced to parliament and my report was referred to the legal and ethical committee for discussion. The then sitting government introduced a bill in March 2016, which is world leading legislation.
The legislation was passed on the 31st August 2016 and this was one of the most satisfying nights of my life. With the Government mandating photoelectric smoke alarms only in every Queensland home, I am proud that I played a role in saving future lives. Queensland is now a world leader in home fire safety through smoke alarms.
It is my hope that the other States and Territories of Australia will follow Queensland’s lead and save future lives by mandating photoelectric smoke alarms and strengthening smoke alarm requirements.
My work with Logan House Fire Support Network continues and I am on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – as fire doesn’t discriminate. I am proud to be the CEO of Smoke Alarm Association Australia, a role I perform on a voluntary basis. Together with our Directors we are striving for a safer community.
I encourage you to become a member of our Association.
Founder of Logan House Fire Support Network
CEO of Smoke Alarm Association Australia Ltd.