New Smoke Alarm Legistlation

Ver 10/20

Glossary of Terms*
Dwellings – houses, townhouses (Class 1A) and units (Class 2).
Photoelectric – the method the device uses to detect smoke.
Hardwired – connected to the domestic dwelling’s electricity supply.
Interconnected – if one smoke alarm sounds all the other smoke alarms will also sound.  Interconnection can be wired or wireless.
Substantial – work carried out under a building development approval or the total building works equals 50% of the dwelling over 3 years.
Storey – a space within a building which is suited between one floor level and the floor level or roof above.

*Refer to the specific legislation for full definitions.


FOR EXISTING DWELLINGS

From 1 January 2017
When replacing smoke alarms, they must be of a photoelectric type which complies with Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014.

Replacing smoke alarms
Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than ten years ago must be replaced. (Note: Smoke alarms should have the date of manufacture stamped on them.)

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 smoke alarm.

From 1 January 2027
Smoke alarms in all dwellings must:

i) be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and
ii) not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
iii) be less than 10 years old; and
iv) operate when tested; and
v) be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

i) in each bedroom; and
ii) in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling; or
iii) if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other part of the storey; and
iv) 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.

Smoke alarms must be either hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery.

If you have specific question or require further clarification, please email SmokeAlarms@qfes.qd.gov.au.

Source document

    • Fire and Emergency Services (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Amendment Bill 2016
    • Building Fire Safety (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Legislation Amendment Regulation 2016
    • National Construction Code 2016
    • Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014
    • Land Title Act 1994

DWELLINGS BEING SOLD, LEASED OR AN EXISTING IS RENEWED

From 1 January 2017
Requirements as for existing dwellings.

Existing landlord’s and tenant’s obligations regarding the installation and testing of smoke alarms continue.

Property sellers must continue to lodge a Form 24 with the Queensland Land Registry Office stating the requirements of the smoke alarm legislation have been met.

From 1 January 2022
Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:

i) be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and
ii) not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
iii) be less than 10 years old; and
iv) operate when tested; and
v) be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

i) in each bedroom; and
ii) in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling; or
iii) if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other part of the storey; and
iv) 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.

Smoke alarms must be either hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery.


NEW DWELLINGS AND DWELLINGS BEING SUBSTANTIALLY RENOVATED

From 1 January 2017
The development approval process for new dwellings and substantial renovations will ensure that building approvals received on or after this date will bring dwellings into compliance with the new laws.

Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:

i) be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and
ii) not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
iii) be hardwired to the mains power supply with a secondary power source (i.e. battery) and operate when tested; and
iv) be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

i) in each bedroom; and
ii) in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling; or
iii) if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other part of the storey; and
iv) 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.


PRESCRIBED LOCATIONS FOR INSTALLING SMOKE ALARMS

Where practicable smoke alarms must be placed on the ceiling.  Smoke alarms must not be placed:

i) within 300mm of a corner of a ceiling and a wall;
ii) within 300mm of a light fitting;
iii) within 400mm of an air-conditioning vent;
iv) within 400mm or the blades of a ceiling fan.

There are special requirements for stairways, sloping ceilings, and ceilings with exposed beams. Specific requirements will be explained in the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008.

If impractical for the prescribed location requirements to be met (e.g. may be affected by steam from shower or fumes from cooking), the owner may put the alarm at another location that will provide a warning to occupant of the dwelling.