SMOKE ALARM LEGISLATION

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New smoke alarm legislation from 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.

For further information see below.

DWELLINGS BEING SOLD, LEASED OR AN EXISTING LEASE IS RENEWED

From 1 January 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 1 January 2022

Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:

  • be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and
  • not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
  • be less than 10 years old; and
  • operate when tested; and
  • be interconnected with every other
  • smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

  • in each bedroom; and
  • in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling;
  • if there is no hallway, between the 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, or a combination of both may be allowed.

PRESCRIBED LOCATIONS FOR INSTALLING SMOKE ALARMS

Where practicable 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. These requirements are explained in the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008. Penalties may be imposed for non compliance with the law.

EXISTING DWELLINGS FOR OWNERS / OCCUPIERS

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. (Note: 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); and
  • not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
  • be less than 10 years old; and
  • operate when tested; and
  • be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

  • in each bedroom; and
  • 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; 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, or a combination of both may be allowed.

NEW DWELLINGS AND DWELLINGS BEING SUBSTANTIALLY RENOVATED

 From 1 January 2017

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

Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:

  • be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); 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.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

  • in each bedroom; and
  • 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; 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

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 electricity supply.

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

Storey – a space within a building which is situated between one floor level and the floor level or roof above. *Refer to specific legislation for full definitions.

Source: www.qfes.qld.gov.au

Source documents

» Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 » Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 » Building Regulation 2006 » Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014 » Land Title Act 1994

For more information visit www.qfes.qld.gov.au/smokealarms

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