OPINION: When it comes to fire safety rules are vital

FIRE officers carrying out safety inspections on buildings are too often labelled as over-zealous.

That was certainly the case in Hervey Bay a few years ago when a negative report shut down the local PCYC for almost six months.

The fire inspector had identified a number of problems which he said should have been picked up years earlier.

This particular officer already had a reputation for going over the top and this episode certainly caused him a lot of grief.

If any fire officer in the future gets a hard time over closing down a buiding because of fire safety issues they now have the perfect example to point back to.

That example is their action to close down the backpacker accommodation at the Imperial Hotel in Gatton.

The damning report revealed that the hotel was a death trap and that if anyone was inside the hotel when a fire broke out they would have little chance of escape.

The court acted on their call in July and in almost a prophecy of what was the come the hotel burnt to the ground yesterday.

There is no doubt that action by the QFES to force the closure meant our report today spoke about the loss of a building and not a life.

It also brings to light the need for us all to be aware of fire safety.

We should all have fire alarms and a fire exit strategy for our home.