When you sleep, your sense of smell does too – which means you can easily be overcome by toxic fumes during a fire. This is why effective smoke alarms are so important.
From the 1st of January 2017, new smoke alarm regulations were put into place for homeowners, landlords and property managers. Under these new regulations, every Queensland residence needs to be fitted with photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms in all bedrooms as well as in hallways or between areas containing bedrooms. Find out more about photoelectric alarms.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said the changes followed the recommendations handed down after the 2011 Slacks Creek fatal house fire. These regulations are intended to ensure that Queensland’s households are among the safest in the country. He said a 10-year rollout will give Queenslanders sufficient time to ensure they have the right smoke alarms installed in their property.
What do these smoke alarm regulations mean for existing properties?
From 1st 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.
- It is also recommended that:
- smoke alarms be either hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery; and
- ionisation smoke alarms be replaced with a photoelectric type as soon as possible.
- For the best protection smoke alarms should be installed on each storey:
- in every bedroom
- 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 should be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.
- All smoke alarms should be interconnected.
- To get everyone out safely during a house fire, it is essential to also have a well-practised fire escape plan.
From 1st January 2027:
- All private homes, townhouses and units will require hardwired photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms. If a hardwired smoke alarm cannot be installed, non-removable 10-year battery smoke alarms can be installed in place.
- 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.
- When it is time for your property’s alarms to be upgraded, those alarms must:
- be photoelectric and comply with Australian Standard 3786-2014
- not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
- be less than 10 years old; and
- operate when tested; and
- be interconnected with every other ‘required’ smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.