From 1 January 2017, to improve fire safety in Queensland homes and save lives, new smoke alarm laws will apply.
On the 31 August 2016, the Queensland Parliament passed the Fire and Emergency Services (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Amendment Act 2016 (Smoke Alarm legislation).
This legislation was developed following Coronial recommendations handed down after the 2011 Slacks Creek fatal house fire which claimed 11 lives.
What are the new smoke alarm requirements?
Houses, townhouses and sole occupancy units (also known as class 1a and 2 buildings) will need to comply with the legislation. You will need to install specific smoke alarms, known as interconnected photoelectic smoke alarms:
- in each bedroom
- in hallways that connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling
- if there is no hallway, between bedrooms and other parts of the storey
- if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.
How interconnected smoke alarms work
Having the alarms interconnected means that when one smoke alarm activates, all interconnected smoke alarms activate. No matter which part of a house a fire might start in, the alarm closest to you will sound, including bedrooms if you are asleep.
You can buy the photoelectric, interconnecting alarms from hardware stores, electrical retailers, and through your electrician.
How is this going to be implemented?
The new laws will have a 10-year phased rollout allowing ample time for everyone to have their alarms installed correctly:
From 1 January 2017
- You must replace any smoke alarms that are defective or have reached their 10-year lifespan with a photoelectric type alarm. All new alarms need to be interconnected.
- Dwellings that have building approval or undergo significant renovations need to comply with all requirements.
From 1 January 2022
- Any dwellings that you sell or lease out must comply with all requirements at the time of transfer or when the accommodation agreement is entered into.
- All government-owned or managed dwellings need to comply with the new laws (our commitment).
From 1 January 2027
- All dwellings must comply with all requirements by 1 January 2027.
If you have questions concerning the new smoke alarm legislation, email SmokeAlarms@qfes.qld.gov.au.