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Fire safety advice overhauled after deadly fires

CFA chief officer Steve Warrington said the sense of smell decreases during sleep.

“CFA data shows that most casualties and injuries during home fires are a result of fires occurring in the bedroom,” he said.

“It’s really important that you have a smoke alarm in your bedroom, especially if you sleep with the door closed.”

The major change to MFB and CFA advice will also call for every hallway, stairwell and living area to have a working smoke alarm.

A new three-week advertising blitz will also be launched on Thursday to urge Victorians to get the extra smoke alarms.

A survey of more than 2500 Victorians last month found only 16 per cent of people had smoke alarms in their bedrooms – a statistic Mr Warrington described as “concerning”.

Just 11 per cent of the survey respondents, all aged 18-64, had interconnected alarms and 22 per cent of had only one smoke alarm in their home.

The MFB and CFA said smoke alarms should be tested and cleaned once a month, and vacuumed to clean the vents every year. They should be replaced after 10 years.

The authorities also say alarms should be interconnected so that if one is triggered by smoke, they all sound to wake any sleeping residents on the other side of the house.

Landlords are responsible for fitting smoke alarms in rental homes and tenants are responsible for testing and cleaning them monthly.

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