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How the New Smoke Alarm Laws Affect You

How the New Smoke Alarm Laws Affect You

How the New Smoke Alarm Laws Affect You

As you may already be aware, new laws regarding the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms in all Queensland homes came into effect on January 1, 2017.

The overhaul of smoke alarm laws follows recommendations handed down after the tragic 2011 Slacks Creek house fire which claimed 11 lives, and is aimed at making Queensland households among the safest in the country.

Most house fire fatalities occur while people are asleep. A smoke alarm is an effective early warning device designed to detect smoke and alert building occupants to the presence of a fire. Installed in the correct location, it increases the time available for safe escape.

Here is rundown on the important changes to smoke alarm compliance which affect all property owners and landlords. 

For existing dwellings

From 1 January 2017:  When replacing smoke alarms, they must be of a photoelectric type which complies with Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014. Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than ten years ago must be replaced. (Smoke alarms should have the date of manufacture stamped on them.) Smoke alarms that do not operate when tested must be replaced immediately. Existing hardwired smoke alarms that need replacement must be replaced with a hardwired smoke alarm.

From 1 January 2027: Smoke alarms in all dwellings must be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); not also contain an ionisation sensor; be less than 10 years old; operate when tested and interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together. Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey; in each bedroom; in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling or if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey. 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.

Dwellings being sold, leased or an existing lease is renewed

From 1 January 2017: 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 1 January 2022: The same requirements are to be met as for existing dwellings above regarding alarm type, installation placement etc.

Full details on the new legislative requirements, including how they apply to new builds and major refurbishments, can be found here: https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/safety/smoke-alarms.html

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