New Smoke Alarm Legislation Introduced

From 1 January 2022, landlords in Qld must install interconnected smoke alarms in residential rental properties.

When one goes off, they all go off, giving everyone extra time to escape.

All other dwellings must transition to full compliance by 2027.

Don’t leave it to the last minute. You could save a life.

Are you a Landlord?

Landlords are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms that comply with new Smoke Alarm legislation, introduced on 1 January, 2017.

Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago, as well as any smoke alarms that do not operate when tested, must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms that comply with Australian Standard 3786–2014.

Landlords and Renters

Within 30 days before the start of a tenancy in a domestic dwelling, the lessor/landlord must test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling.

During a tenancy in a domestic dwelling, the tenant must test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling, at least once every 12 months.

To test a smoke alarm, press the ‘test’ button. Cleaning should be done according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which is usually vacuuming.

You do not need to be qualified or licenced to clean or test a domestic smoke alarm.

Some real estate agents may outsource smoke alarm maintenance to another company with associated fees paid by the landlord.  The real estate may request a “certificate of compliance” from these companies as proof of service. This is not a legal requirement but may be part of the real estate agent’s internal process.

From 1 January 2022

From 1 January 2022, at the commencement of a new lease or lease renewal, you must ensure your dwelling / unit meets the requirements of the domestic smoke alarm legislation. This may involve installing interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms into the bedrooms in addition to the currently required smoke alarms.

Are you an Owner/Occupier?

From 1 January 2017:
  • Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms which comply with Australian Standards (AS) 3786-2014. (Note: the date should be stamped on the back)
  • 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 photoelectric smoke alarm.
From 1 January 2027:
  • All existing private homes, townhouses and units will require photoelectric interconnected smoke alarms. These must be either a hardwired (eg. 240v) or non-removable 10 year battery powered type alarm.
  • The legislation requires smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:
    • on each storey
    • in each bedroom
    • in hallways that connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling
    • if there is no hallway, between the bedroom 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.

New dwellings and dwellings being renovated

From 1 January 2017, as part of a building approval process requiring a Building Certifier, all new homes and renovations should have the required smoke alarms installed pursuant to the requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC) formally known as Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the Building Regulation 2006.

What are the Standard Requirements?
  • Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:
    • be photoelectric (AS3786-2014); and
    • not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
    • be hardwired to the mains power supply with a secondary power source (i.e. battery); and
    • be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.
  • The legislation requires smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:
    • on each storey
    • in each bedroom
    • in hallways that connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling
    • if there is no hallway, between the bedroom 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 for existing dwellings, they can also be powered by a non-removable 10-year battery.
  • To get everyone out safely during a house fire, it is essential to also have a well-practised fire escape plan.

Are you Selling or Leasing?

From 1 January 2017:
  • Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms which comply with Australian Standards (AS) 3786-2014. (Note: the date should be stamped on the back)
  • 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 photoelectric smoke alarm.

To get everyone out safely during a house fire, it is essential to also have a well-practised fire escape plan.

Existing landlord’s and tenant’s obligations continue. Property sellers must continue to lodge a Form 24 stating the requirements of the legislation have been met.

From 1 January 2022:
  • All homes or units being sold or leased, or existing leases renewed, will require hardwired photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms. Non-removable 10-year battery smoke alarms can be installed in place.
  • Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:
    • be photoelectric (AS3786-2014); and
    • not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
    • Be hardwired to the mains power supply, if currently hardwired. Otherwise, smoke alarms can be either hardwired or powered by a non removable 10 yr battery or a combination of both.
  • be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.
  • The legislation requires smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:
    • on each storey
    • in each bedroom
    • if there is no hallway, between the bedroom 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.

 

See more info here: https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/prepare/fire/smoke-alarms