More than 30,000 ACT residents are "gambling with lives" by failing to have working smoke alarms in their homes, new research reveals.
In light of its findings, ACT Fire and Rescue is urging all Canberrans to check their smoke alarms when they turn their clocks back for the end of daylight savings this weekend.
In the lead-up, ACT Fire and Rescue on Thursday launched its annual smoke alarm campaign by simulating a house fire at one of its training centres in Hume, demonstrating how smoke affects visibility and why a working smoke alarm is important for early detection.
House fires have become more common in the ACT, with 275 callouts across the territory in 2017, representing a 2.6 per cent increase on the previous year.
Though 8 per cent of ACT residents don't have working smoke alarms, the data shows Canberrans are taking fire safety more seriously than people in other parts of Australia. One-quarter of New South Wales homes don't have working smoke alarms, while 15 per cent in Queensland don't either.
Smoke Alarm Solutions chief executive Cameron Davis said most Canberrans deserved praise, but there was still more work to be done.
"Working smoke alarms should be in every home," Mr Davis said.
"Unfortunately, 8 per cent or 31,791 ACT residents are gambling with their safety and the lives of family and friends."
There were 150 house fires in the ACT throughout spring and summer, compared to 125 in autumn and winter, debunking the theory that the risk of house fires increased during the colder months.
The research also discovered there were more than 3500 automatic fire alarms connected and monitored in the ACT last year, providing vital early warning to people in higher-risk properties including multi-storey buildings, hospitals, shopping centres, schools, universities, nursing homes and government buildings.