Smoke Detectors

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are very important domestic safety devices. Residential occupancies account for most fire fatalities where most of these occur at night during sleeping hours. The risk of death from fire in a home is up to three times higher in homes without smoke alarms when compared to homes with smoke alarms. In Queensland, nearly 80% of all home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms and almost 50% of deaths occur between 12am - 8am when people are sleeping. Smoke alarms are designed to give an early warning of fire so occupants have a greater chance of escape.

 

From 1 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 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.

Existing landlord’s and tenant’s obligations continue. Property sellers must continue to lodge a Form 24 stating the requirements of the legislation have been met. See New Smoke Alarm Legislation for more details.

 

From 1 January 2022

  • All homes or units being sold or leased, or existing leases renewed, will require the installation of 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.
  • Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:
    • be photoelectric (AS3786-2014); and
    • not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
    • Be hardwired to the mains power supply with a backup power source (i.e. battery), although dwellings which were existing prior to 1 Jan 2017 can be hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery, or a combination of both.
    • be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.
  • The legislation requires smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:

    Alarm Placemenet Alarm Placemenet

    • 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.
  • If a smoke alarm which is hardwired to the domestic power supply needs replacement, it must be replaced with a hardwired photoelectric smoke alarm.

Further information on smoke alarms is available by phoning 13 74 68 or visiting the Queensland Fire Emergency Services website at www.fire.qld.gov.au.