23 February 2017

New smoke alarm laws; Is your family safe?

From the 1st January 2017, new smoke alarm laws for domestic dwellings came into effect in Queensland that requires smoke alarms older than 10 years, or that are faulty, must be replaced with a photoelectric smoke alarm that complies with Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014.

Dwellings that are hardwired must be replaced also with photoelectric smoke alarms under the same conditions if they are 10 years old or faulty.

Image: Thanks to rta.qld.gov.au

Existing ionisation smoke alarms are recommended for replacement as soon as possible. Although this is not mandatory until 2022 or it becomes faulty or exceeds the 10 year age condition. It is recommended by Fire and Emergency Services to replace Ionisation smoke alarms anyway.

Image: Thanks to rta.qld.gov.au

From 1st January 2022, ionisation smoke alarms must be replaced if the dwelling is being sold, leased or an existing lease is renewed and replaced with a photoelectric smoke alarm less than 10 years old and interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling. The alarms must be hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery.

Each storey or level of the dwelling, bedroom and each connecting hallway, or between bedrooms if there is no hallway must have an interconnected smoke alarm installed. Even if there is no bedroom on an extra storey or level, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

In addition to the Fire and Emergency Services requirements, rental property owner/managers are obligated to comply with the following requirements

Image: Thanks to rta.qld.gov.au

From January 2027, all private dwellings (yes your private home), townhouses, units and houses and investment properties must install interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms. If a hardwired smoke alarm cannot be installed, a non-removable 10-year battery smoke alarm interconnected must be installed to comply with Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014.

If you are buying smoke alarms, there are some alarms that do not comply with Australian standards and there are alarms that standards certified recommended by Queensland Emergency Services and Standards Australia. The alarms to buy have these symbols or labels attached to the smoke alarm product.

Image: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

The alarms to avoid have these symbols or labels attached to the products or nothing at all indicating the Australian Standards labels. Do not buy these because they are not compliant with Queensland law.

Image: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

The placement of smoke alarms is also recommended along with having a fire escape plan in place to not only be alerted by the alarms but to respond to the emergency and exiting the property safely with your life and your loved ones.

Image: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

Details of the placement and all other fire safety specifications can be found on the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website. Here you can also find important information regarding smoke alarm safety; selling and leasing, new buildings or renovations and more detail about photoelectric smoke alarms.

Property owners and managers can find further information at the Residental Tenancy Authority website.

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