Smoke Alarm Legislation is Changing

Whether you're a home owner, renter or are leasing out a property - don't get caught out when smoke alarm legislation are updated. 

Updates to smoke alarm legislation are coming as soon as 2022 for rental properties and owner-occupied properties by 2027. If you're building a new home, have purchased an investment property, want to lease your home or are carrying out substantial renovations - we have the information you need to make sure your dwelling is compliant. 

Our team of licensed electricians are happy to talk you through upgrading your outdated setup and will ensure your smoke alarms meet the new legislation standards.

Stay in the loop with the latest information below or contact our team to upgrade your smoke alarms.
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Updates to Smoke Alarm Legislation

For Existing Dwellings

From January 1st 2017 

When replacing smoke alarms, they must be of a photoelectric type which complies with Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014. 

Replacing Smoke Alarms 

  • Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than ten years ago must be replaced. (Note: Smoke alarms should have the date of manufacture stamped on them). 
  • Smoke alarms that do not operate when tested must be immediately replaced. 
  • Existing hardwired smoke alarms that need replacement must be replaced with a hardwired smoke alarm. 

 

From January 1st 2027 

Smoke alarms in all dwellings must: 

  1. be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and 
  2. not also contain an ionisation sensor; and 
  3. be less than ten years old; and 
  4. operate when tested; and 
  5. be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all active together. 

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey

  • in each bedroom; and 
  • in hallways which connect bedrooms to the rest of the dwelling; or 
  • if there is no hallway, between bedrooms and other parts of the storey; and 
  • if there are no bedrooms on a storey at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling

Smoke alarms must be either hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery. 

For Dwellings Being Sold, Leased or an Existing Lease is Renewed

From January 1st 2017 
  • Requirements as for existing dwellings
  • Existing landlord's and tenant's obligations regarding the installation and testing of smoke alarms continue. 
  • Property sellers must continue to lodge a Form 24 with the Queensland Land Registry Office stating the requirements of the smoke alarm legislation have been met. 

 

From January 1st 2022

Smoke alarms in the dwelling must: 

  1. be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and 
  2. not also contain an ionisation sensor; and 
  3. be less than ten years old; and 
  4. operate when tested; and
  5. be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all active together. 

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey

  • in each bedroom; and 
  • in hallways which connect bedrooms to the rest of the dwelling; or 
  • if there is no hallway, between bedrooms and other parts of the storey; and 
  • if there are no bedrooms on a storey at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling

Smoke alarms must be hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery. 

New Dwellings and Dwellings Being Substantially Renovated

From January 1st 2017 

The development approval process for new dwellings and substantial renovations will ensure the building approvals received on or after this date will bring dwellings into compliance with the new laws. 

Smoke alarms in the dwelling must: 

  1. be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and 
  2. not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
  3. be hardwired into the mains power supply with a secondary power source (i.e. battery); and  
  4. be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all active together. 

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey

  • in each bedroom; and 
  • in hallways which connect bedrooms to the rest of the dwelling; or 
  • if there is no hallway, between bedrooms and other parts of the storey; and 
  • if there are no bedrooms on a storey at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling

Prescribed Locations for Installing Smoke Alarms

Where practical, smoke alarms must be placed on the ceiling. Smoke alarms must not be placed: 

  • within 300mm of a corner of a ceiling and a wall; 
  • within 300mm of a light fitting; 
  • within 400mm of an air-conditioning vent; 
  • within 400mm of the blades of a ceiling fan. 

There are special requirements for stairways, sloping ceilings, and ceilings with exposed beams. Specific requirements will be explained in the Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008. 

If impractical for the prescribed location requirements to be met (e.g. may be affected by steam from shower or fumes from cooking), the owner may put the alarm at another location that will provide a warning to occupants of the dwelling. 

Glossary of Terms

Dwellings - houses, townhouses (Class 1A) and units (Class 2). 

Photoelectric - the method the device uses to detect smoke. 

Hardwired - connected to the domestic dwelling's electric supply. 

Interconnected - if one smoke alarm sounds, all the other smoke alarms will sound. Interconnection can be wired or wireless. 

Substantial - work carried out under a building development approval and the total building works equals 50% of the dwelling over three years. 

Storey - a space within a building which is situated between one floor level and the floor level or roof above. 

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