Electrical Blog

A little (but important) smoke alarm legislation update

A little (but important) smoke alarm legislation update - blog post image

As some of you may (or may not) know, new legislation commenced from 1 January 2017 in relation to smoke alarms and their installation over the next 10 years. The legislation, known as the Fire and Emergency Services (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Amendment Act 2016 (Qld), has initiated a 10-year ‘phased rollout’ of components in three fixed terms. These periods, commencing on 1 January 2017, 1 January 2022 and 1 January 2027, all have their own legislative requirements. But, what does it all really mean currently for a homeowner, a tenant, a landlord, a renovator or someone selling their home?

What is an interconnected photoelectric smoke alarm?

The type of smoke alarm referred to in the legislation that homes now need is called an interconnected photoelectric smoke alarm. An interconnected photoelectric smoke alarm sees the smoke and will immediately alert you, as it can recognise visible bits of combustion, and, being interconnected, means you will be alerted irrelevant of your positioning in your home.

From 1 January 2017, if a smoke alarm is being replaced, it must be a photoelectric alarm that complies with Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014.

What about my current smoke alarms?

The smoke alarms that are currently in your home may still be compliant, it depends on their age and performance. If your existing smoke alarms still work well and were produced less than 10 years ago, they are suitable to continue using for the time being. It may be hard for you to figure out the age of your smoke alarm and, if this is the case, it is highly recommended that you contact your local electrician who can assist.

What is required when I upgrade my smoke alarms?

When you arrange for your smoke alarms to be upgraded, the following must be met :

  • Must be photoelectric (and comply with Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014)
  • Must be younger than 10 years old and operational when tested
  • Must be interconnected with all other legislative-required smoke alarms in the building
  • Must not contain an ionisation sensor

So, in light of all the above information, what does this mean for you? It all depends on your situation, however there are a few varying requirements depending on your housing circumstances. There is still a common feature though - you must have working smoke alarms for safety!

So, what does the legislation currently mean for...

A landlord?

From 1 January 2017

All landlords are responsible for the installation compliant smoke alarms from 1 January 2017. If the alarms on the property were manufactured more than 10 years ago, or do not work when tested, they must be replaced immediately with photoelectric smoke alarms. If the smoke alarms that are present are already hardwired, they must be replaced with hardwired photoelectric smoke alarms. It is also strongly suggested that :

  • All your smoke alarms be connected
  • All alarms are hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10 year battery
  • All ionisation smoke alarms be replaced ASAP with photoelectric versions
  • Alarms be positioned as followed :
    • In each bedroom AND on each storey
    • In the hallways that connect the rest of the home to the bedrooms
    • If there isn’t a hallway, then between the bedroom and other sections of the storey
    • If there isn’t a bedroom located on one or more of the storeys, at least one alarm must be placed in the area most likely used to leave the house

When it comes to new tenancies in domestic homes, a landlord must clean and test all smoke alarms within 30 days before the tenancy commences. Cleaning and testing smoke alarms can be done yourself and do not require an electrician, and can be completed by pushing the ‘test’ button on the alarm and cleaning according to the manufacturer's guidelines.

From 1 January 2022

Any unit or house that is being leased, or an existing lease being renewed, will require hardwired interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms however, if a hardwired version can not be installed, a non-removable 10 year battery smoke alarm can be installed as an alternative.

A tenant?

Your landlord is responsible for the installation of compliant smoke alarms however, during a tenancy, a tenant is responsible for cleaning and testing smoke alarms once a year.

A renovator?

From 1 January 2017, if you are substantially renovating your home or unit and the renovations are subject to building approval, you must have hardwired, interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms. They must be hardwired to the main power supply and have a backup secondary power source, such as a battery, or they can have a 10 year battery that is unable to be removed. All alarms must be connected to all other required smoke alarms in the property, they must not contain an ionisation sensor and are to be located :

  • In each bedroom AND on each storey
  • In the hallways that connect the rest of the home to the bedrooms
  • If there isn’t a hallway, then between the bedroom and other sections of the storey
  • If there isn’t a bedroom located on one or more of the storeys, at least one alarm must be placed in the area most likely used to leave the house

Home sellers?

From 1 January 2017

If the alarms on the property being sold were manufactured more than 10 years ago, or do not work when tested, they must be replaced immediately with photoelectric smoke alarms. If you have smoke alarms that are already hardwired, they must be replaced with hardwired photoelectric smoke alarms when necessary. It is also strongly suggested that:

  • All your smoke alarms be connected
  • All alarms are hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10 year battery
  • All ionisation smoke alarms be replaced ASAP with photoelectric versions
  • Alarms be positioned as followed :
    • In each bedroom AND on each storey
    • In the hallways that connect the rest of the home to the bedrooms
    • If there isn’t a hallway, then between the bedroom and other sections of the storey
    • If there isn’t a bedroom located on one or more of the storeys, at least one alarm must be placed in the area most likely used to leave the house

When you go through the home sale process, you must still complete a Form 24 and advise that compliant smoke alarms are in place in your home.

From 1 January 2022

Any unit or house that is being sold will require hardwired interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms however, if a hardwired version can not be installed, a non-removable 10 year battery smoke alarm can be installed as an alternative. If your property was built before 1 January 2017, the alarms in place can be powered by a non-removable 10 year battery, hardwired or a mixture of both. All alarms must be connected to all other required smoke alarms in the property, they must not contain an ionisation sensor and are to be located:

  • In each bedroom AND on each storey
  • In the hallways that connect the rest of the home to the bedrooms
  • If there isn’t a hallway, then between the bedroom and other sections of the storey
  • If there isn’t a bedroom located on one or more of the storeys, at least one alarm must be placed in the area most likely used to leave the house

If there is a hardwired alarm in the property that connects to the domestic power supply and it requires replacing, it must be replaced with a hardwired photoelectric smoke alarm.

A homeowner?

From 1 January 2017

If the alarms in your home were manufactured more than 10 years ago, or do not work when tested, they must be replaced immediately with photoelectric smoke alarms. If you have smoke alarms that are already hardwired, they must be replaced with hardwired photoelectric smoke alarms if/when necessary. It is also strongly suggested that:

  • All your smoke alarms be connected
  • All alarms are hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10 year battery
  • All ionisation smoke alarms be replaced ASAP with photoelectric versions
  • Alarms be positioned as followed :
    • In each bedroom AND on each storey
    • In the hallways that connect the rest of the home to the bedrooms
    • If there isn’t a hallway, then between the bedroom and other sections of the storey
    • If there isn’t a bedroom located on one or more of the storeys, at least one alarm must be placed in the area most likely used to leave the house

If you are building a home the same rules apply as to a renovator, however your alarms must be hardwired and can solely have a 10 year battery only if a hardwired version is not a possible option.

From 1 January 2027

From 1 January 2027, all private homes, units and townhouses will require hardwired interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms however, if a hardwired version can not be installed, a non-removable 10 year battery smoke alarm can be installed as an alternative. The alarms are to be located:

  • In each bedroom AND on each storey
  • In the hallways that connect the rest of the home to the bedrooms
  • If there isn’t a hallway, then between the bedroom and other sections of the storey
  • If there isn’t a bedroom located on one or more of the storeys, at least one alarm must be placed in the area most likely used to leave the house

The condensed version

In a super concentrated form, in order for your home to be legislatively compliant the following will apply :

  • From 1 January 2017, any dwelling that is new or has been substantially renovated must have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms (this applies even if your building application was submitted before 1 January)
  • From 2 January 2022, any domestic dwelling that is leased and/or sold must have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms
  • From 1 January 2027, all domestic dwellings must have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms

It may seem like 2022 and 2027 are too far away to consider acting now, however the closer the cut-off dates get, the more people will be rushing to ensure they meet all their requirements in time. Don’t leave it to the last minute to have your interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms installed, otherwise you may miss the dates provided for in the legislation. Get in contact with a professional today to help you navigate the best way forward for your home when it comes to getting new smoke alarms installed.

If you have any questions regarding smoke alarms, their associated legislation or installation, call Hanson Electrical on 1300 982 479 or complete a contact form. We can assist with all things to do with smoke alarms, and pride ourselves on our friendly service and professional team. Give us a call today!

COMMENT (0)

    Post has no comments.

POST A COMMENT

Live Search

 

Most Commented

Tags

Archive

Current Specials


Ceiling Fan Special

Ceiling Fan Special

Ceiling fans are a great energy efficient way to keep your house cool in summer. They can even help distribute the warmth in winter.

Offer Details

Receive $25 off every fan installation when it isn’t the primary job to help you keep cool and save you money this summer.

$25

OFF

Book Now!
Smoke Alarm Special

Smoke Alarm Special

Is your home compliant with the updated QLD smoke alarm legislation? Our electricians can upgrade your smoke alarms to a hardwired, interconnected smoke alarm system.

Offer Details

Receive $50 off Smoke alarm packages when you upgrade your smoke alarm system to comply with the new laws in Queensland.

$50

OFF

Book Now!
Surge Protection Special

Surge Protection Special

A lightning strike can cause havoc with your electrical equipment. Our electricians can install surge protection in your home switchboard to protect your electrical systems.

Offer Details

Receive $20 off whole house surge protection to keep your appliances safe during this storm season.

$20

OFF

Book Now!

Customer Reviews

Hanson Electrical Reviews

  • 5.0
  • 14 Reviews

    View Reviews

    18-Apr-2019

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • This is the 2nd time I have used Ryan's electrical skill and he is great. Highly recommend and would certainly book again as needed.
    26-Sep-2017

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • Excellent service at a fair price. Ryan installed new fixed smoke detectors as well as undertaking some repairs and other minor installation work. He returned twice after hours to restore lights to childrens bedrooms we were having wardrobes installed in, all for a fixed price. Highly recommended.

    23-Jan-2020

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • Don't normally leave reviews but Ryan has been excellent. Bought a new house and made some changes. New fans, new circuits, upgraded fuse box new lights, data cabling. Every job great workmanship. Ryan very friendly and accommodating and his quotes/prices are super competitive. Have recommended him to several friends already.
    26-Sep-2017

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • We had a very small job that needed attending to. The electrician arrived on time and was very courteous and helpful. He was not pushy (ie: did not try to ‘upsell’ us into services that were not necessary), but alerted us to potential issues to consider in the future. Happy to recommend and try again in the future.

    26-Sep-2017

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • Ryan quoted us to complete a number of small jobs at home. He was prompt both for the quote and on the day of the work, polite and efficient and came back to immediately to install a dimmer on one of the new lights after we reviewed it. We were very happy with his work, his attitude and his pricing. We would recommend him.

    06-Jul-2019

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • We had no hot water in two weeks,and Ryan Hanson only spent 20 minutes to check everything from our solar system and electricity. affordable and excellent service.no need for a couple of days,its a really fast and reliabe.
    03-May-2019

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • Another job done promptly and well. Thank you Ryan.
    01-Aug-2019

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • We were very happy with Ryan service. On time, on budget, efficient & friendly.
    26-Sep-2017

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • I found Hanson Electrical to be friendly, courteous and on-point with their work. If you want the job done right the first time, then give them a call. “Hanson is just so friendly, so professional and just so helpful. Nothing is too hard, everything has just been awesome!”. I am happy to recommend Hanson Electrical.

    18-May-2018

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • Ryan is my "go to sparky". He responds quickly to my requests and his professionalism and workmanship continues to be of the highest quality. I first engaged Ryan last year for a major renovation and I have requested his services a few times since. He is always ready to help find solutions and provide advice. I again, highly recommend Hanson Electrical.
    26-Sep-2017

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • I have engaged Hanson Electrical to undertake all electrical works for a major house renovation. Ryan is a professional. He provides ideas to improve the outcome and when needed, solutions to problems. He is quite flexible in his approach, attentive to issues and concerns and easy to talk to and work things through. His workmanship is high quality and the price reasonable. I do recommend Hanson Electrical Services for any electrical services.

    12-Oct-2019

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • Most surprised to find a tradesman that actually turns up, and spot on time...… Ryan was fast and efficient and came prepared for any issues the job required. Excellent service at a fair price and worthy of the 5 star rating....Thank you Ryan
    26-Sep-2017

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • I found Ryan very reasonably priced and very professional. Ryan and a business partner installed down lights in our whole house. He took the time to ensure we knew what we were getting and explained in detail the type of lights that are available. When installation time came they took the time to make sure we were happy with the location of the lights for the best outcome. After installation they cleaned up after themselves very well and removed all of our previous lights off site. All in all the job was done very professionally and quickly at a very reasonable price. Highly recommend.

    22-May-2018

    Services Used: Domestic Electrical

  • Very happy with a service. Called him a day earlier and asked him to do the rewiring urgently because we couldnt get our electrician and he was on site at 7:30 and completed the job by afternoon.

    Book an Electrician

    Important: If you need an electrical job completed quickly, please phone us on 0456 478 029.

    * Required











    Probity Web Marketing