New requirements for Smoke alarms
The Queensland Government recently passed the Fire and Emergency Services (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Amendment Act 2016. This Act extends on the previous laws that came into effect on 1 July 2007 requiring the installation of smoke alarms in all domestic dwellings, including rental properties.
The new laws are part of the Government’s response to a coroner’s report into Australia’s worst house fire at Slacks Creek, south of Brisbane in 2011 which killed 11 people. The house was fitted with two smoke alarms but neither had worked for several years.
What are the new laws?
The new laws mandate the installation of photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms. These alarms must be in all bedrooms as well as hallways in Queensland homes. Interconnection involves linking all alarms so that when one alarm is triggered, all are activated.
The changes commence on 1 January 2017 and are to be phased in over a 10 year period to give all home owners ample time to have their alarms installed correctly.
What does this mean for house owners?
From 31 December 2016, all houses being built or significantly renovated will need to comply with the new smoke alarm legislation upon completion.
From 31 December 2021, all houses leased or sold will need to comply with the new standards.
From 31 December 2026, all owner-occupied private dwellings will need to comply with the new standards.
Smoke alarms replaced after January 1, 2017 must be a photoelectric alarm.