Queensland Smoke Alarm Legislation
Since 1 January 2017, Queensland has had new smoke alarm legislation in place, making Queensland dwellings the safest in Australia when it comes to fire safety. Additional smoke alarm requirements will be phased in over the coming years, ensuring even greater fire safety for Queenslanders.
These are the current deadlines:
- 2017 – All new constructions and major renovations to existing houses
- 2022 – All dwellings being sold, leased or an existing lease being renewed
- 2027 – All dwellings in Queensland must be upgraded
The 1st January 2022 deadline affects real estate agents, property sellers, landlords and tenants. Here’s what you need to know:
All homes or units being sold or leased, or existing leases renewed, will require photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms.
Property sellers must continue to lodge a Form 24 with the Queensland Land Registry Office stating the requirements of the Queensland Smoke Alarm Legislation have been met.
Landlords are ultimately responsible for the installation of smoke alarms that comply with new Queensland Smoke Alarm legislation in rental properties.
Read further down to understand the consequences for not acting in time.
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. All smoke alarms should be interconnected within the dwelling.
- Install interconnected photoelectric alarms only. Research shows that photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms are the most effective for alerting people early to fires. Wireless interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms can be installed yourself or by a qualified electrician
- Smoke alarms hardwired to the domestic power supply must be replaced with a hardwired photoelectric smoke alarms and must be installed by a qualified electrician
- In existing domestic dwellings, it is possible to have a combination of smoke alarms (240v and battery operated) and inter-connectivity can be both wired and/or wireless
- Smoke alarms must be hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery, or a combination of both may be allowed
- Australian Standard 3786:2014 certified
- All smoke alarms must be photoelectric rather than ionisation
- Smoke alarms must operate when tested
- Smoke alarms must be less than 10 years old
- Smoke alarms must be located in all bedrooms
- Smoke alarms must be installed in hallways connecting bedrooms to the rest of the dwelling
- If there is no hallway, between the 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.
As of 1st July 2007, changes were applied to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990, stating that every smoke alarm in a Queensland rental property requires ongoing maintenance. Under this legislation, Landlords or agents must test and clean each smoke alarm within 30 days prior to each tenancy change or renewal. Not only this, but each smoke alarm must be replaced before the expiry date. The legislation prohibits the transfer of these responsibilities to the tenant.
Consequences for real estate agents and landlords if your property is not upgraded by the 1st January 2022 deadline:
- Should a fire occur in your rental property without compliant smoke alarms, your insurance may be null and void
- Face a $607 fine for non-compliance
- Smoke alarms prices will soar when demand far exceeds supply
New and substantially renovated homes in Queensland are now required to have interconnected Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014 photoelectric smoke alarms in all bedrooms, in hallways where bedrooms are connected, and on each and every level of the residence. This applies to homes where building applications were lodged after 1 January 2017.
By 1st January 2027 all existing private homes, townhouses and units in Queensland will require photoelectric interconnected smoke alarms. These must be either a hardwired (eg. 240v) or non-removable 10 year battery powered type alarm and certified AS 3786-2014.
Homeowners that identify existing smoke alarms that fail to operate when tested or smoke alarms that are over ten years of age must replace these alarms with a photoelectric type with a power source similar to the one they are replacing, as a minimum.
Landlords must ensure that their rental property is properly fitted with the required number of working smoke alarms, complying with the Australian Standard (3786:2014), and that they are installed as outlined in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) part 188.8.131.52. This legislation is applicable to all states of Australia.
» Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990
» Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008
» Building Regulation 2006
» Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014
» Land Title Act 1994