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Are you aware of the new smoke alarm legislation in QLD?

Find out what the smoke alarm updates mean for you & your household

As of the 1st of January, 2017, new legislation for smoke alarms has come into play, with a 10-year phased rollout planned for all dwellings across Queensland.

Per the state Government, the new legislation specifies that interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms be installed in all bedrooms & connected hallways, on every level of your dwelling. The purpose of this is to ensure the optimal level of safety and precaution in your home, so in the event of a fire, residents are given the earliest warning possible.


What are the legislation changes?

First and foremost: when replacing smoke alarms, they must be photoelectric, complying with Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014.

According to this legislation

[In ‘new and substantially-renovated’ dwellings]

FROM JANUARY 1 2017

Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:

  • Be photoelectric
  • Not contain an ionisation sensor
  • Be hardwired to the mains power supply with a secondary power source
  • Be interconnected with other smoke alarms in the dwelling

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

  • In all bedrooms
  • In hallways that connect bedrooms with the rest of the house (if there isn’t a hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey)

    * if there aren’t any bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

[In existing dwellings]

FROM JANUARY 1 2017

  • Smoke alarms which are older than 10 years, or don’t work upon testing, must be replaced
  • Replaced smoke alarms must be photoelectric

FROM JANUARY 1 2027

Smoke alarms must:

  • Be photoelectric
  • Not contain an ionisation sensor
  • Be less than 10 years old
  • Be hardwired to the mains power supply with a secondary power source
  • Be interconnected with other smoke alarms in the dwelling

AND be installed on each story:

  • In all bedrooms
  • In hallways that connect bedrooms with the rest of the house (if there isn’t a hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey)

    * if there aren’t any bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

[In dwellings being sold, leased or having a lease renewed]

FROM JANUARY 1 2017

  • Smoke alarms which are older than 10 years, or don’t work upon testing, must be replaced
  • Replaced smoke alarms must be photoelectric

FROM JANUARY 1 2022

AND be installed on each story:

  • In all bedrooms
  • In hallways that connect bedrooms with the rest of the house (if there isn’t a hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey)

    * if there aren’t any bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.


    Source: Queensland Fire and Emergency Service


Restriction to photoelectric smoke alarms

Per the legislation, any smoke alarms installed in Queensland homes from now on must be photoelectric.

In comparison to the more traditional ionisation alarms (which ‘feel’ the signs of combustion), the photoelectric variety visibly detects combustion particles.

Photoelectric alarms detect all types of fires but are most responsive to smouldering and smoke that is more dense than usual.

According to research, photoelectric smoke alarms are a safer, more effective option for your home than their ionisation counterparts.


Smoke alarm installation guidelines

When possible, it is advised by the Queensland Government that smoke alarms must be placed on the ceiling. Hardwired smoke alarms must be installed by a licenced electrician.

Additionally, alarms must not be placed:

  • Within 30cm of a corner of a ceiling and a wall
  • Within 30cm of a light fitting
  • Within 40cm of an air-conditioning vent
  • Within 40cm of ceiling fan blades

Smoke alarm experts in Queensland

If you have a question about the information featured on this page or would like to enquire about updating your smoke alarm system to comply with these regulations, please fill in a contact form or give us a call on 07 3353 3248.


Resources used:

https://www.qld.gov.au/about/newsroom/smoke-alarm-legislation

http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/4/1/dont-be-a-fool-queensland--check-your-smoke-alarms-on-1-april

https://www.electrosystems.com.au/electricians-blog/what-the-new-qld-smoke-alarm-legislation-means-for-your-home

https://www.fallonsolutions.com.au/electrical/smoke-alarm-legislation

https://www.calibrerealestate.com.au/new-smoke-alarm/

https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/community-safety/smokealarms/Pages/photoelectric-alarms.aspx

https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/community-safety/smokealarms/documents/New-Smoke-Alarm-Legislation.pdf

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