Hot Topic- The QLD Smoke Alarm laws

In August 2016, the Queensland Government passed new state smoke alarm legislation laws in response to the devastating 2011 Slacks Creek house fire, which cut short 11 lives.

The new legislation takes effect as of 1 January 2017 and ‘all smoke alarms in all dwellings must be photoelectric (as per Australian standard 3786), not contain an ionisation sensor, be less than 10 years old, operate when tested and be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the same dwelling so all activate together’ (excerpt from the Legislation).

What do you need to do to ensure your home is safe and meets legal requirements?

Photoelectric is a type of smoke alarm and is the method by which the device uses to detect smoke. Before panicking that you don’t have one, check your current smoke alarms- if you have a photoelectric type it will have either “photoelectric”, “optical”, “photo optical” or the letter “P” on the unit. If it doesn’t, then you should replace your alarm. As for interconnected, basically when one smoke alarm detects smoke, all smoke alarms will be sound off alerting everyone in the household.

Examples of the P symbol that can be found on photoelectric smoke alarms.

Examples of the P symbol that can be found on photoelectric smoke alarms.The other major change in the legislation is the where and how many need to be installed- smoke alarms must be installed in every bedroom and in all hallways connecting between bedrooms and other parts of each storey.

When do you need to get all this done by?

This depends on your circumstances. If you need to replace smoke alarms, you must replace them with the photoelectric type from 1 January 2017 and must have your entire dwelling comply with the legislation from 1 January 2027. If you are building or making substantial renovations, all building works approved after 1 January 2017 must comply. If you’re selling, leasing or renewing lease all existing obligations will continue after January 1 2017 and the property must be completely compliant as of 1 January 2022. If you sell your property after January 1 2017, you must lodge a Form 24 with the Queensland Land Registry Office stating the new legislative requirements have been met.

You can look up further information on the Queensland Government website and you can also download info sheets from Queensland Fire and Emergency Service. Alternatively, you can give us a call on (07) 5554 2200 to discuss how we can help you achieve compliance and to make a booking with us today!

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