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.
From 1 January 2027
- All existing private homes, townhouses and units will require photoelectric interconnected smoke alarms. These must be either a hardwired (eg. 240v) or non-removable 10 year battery powered type alarm.
- 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.
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.