The death of two toddlers has sparked conversation over whether hardwired smoke alarms should be compulsory in all homes.

Last September, two sisters died from smoke inhalation at their rented East Geelong property after one of their plush toys fell onto a heater.

A coroner has spoken out and said the deaths of the two girls would not have happened if their house had working smoke alarms.

So the question now is whether or not the rules covering smoke alarm installation maintenance should be stricter?

The coroner also wants to make it an offence for landlords to lease properties without hardwired smoke alarms.

For the moment, rental properties built after August 1997 must have hardwired smoke alarms.

However, older homes only require battery-powered smoke alarms, which can be deactivated and removed.

Another aspect to consider is whether or not a fire safety education program for migrants from non-English speaking countries should be mandatory where smoke alarms aren't familiar.

What do you think? Could this have also prevented the death of the toddlers?

Tenants are recommended to check if their smoke alarms are working and to replace the batteries every year.

But the coroner said she would be surprised if tenants were oblivious to these recommendations.

The coroner has also requested changes to the Consumer Affairs Victoria publication, 'Renting A Home: A Guide For Tenants', to clarify who's responsible for checking smoke alarms and include illustrations of how to conduct these checks, so it's simple for our non-English speaking immigrants.

What are your thoughts on this?

Do you agree with updating our laws around this?

Do you believe the girls' deaths were preventable if any of these changes were in place?

Let us know your thoughts.

*References

1. https://www.coronerscourt.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-07/DQ___461418.pdf

2. www.9news.com.au/videos/calls-for-hardwired-smoke-detector-after-deaths-of-two-toddlers/cjxlo3520002p0ips7ymb8061

3. www.bay939.com.au/news/local-news/106543-calls-for-tighter-rules-on-smoke-alarms

4. www.domain.com.au/news/coroner-urges-ban-on-landlords-renting-out-properties-without-working-smoke-detectors-854692/