What are the changes to the Smoke Alarm laws?
The Queensland Government recently introduced changes to Smoke Alarm laws, aimed at making “Queensland households the safest in Australia in relation to fire safety.”
The new law (the Fire and Emergency Services (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Amendment Act) requires that all dwellings will be required to have ‘interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms” in all bedrooms, in hallways that connect bedrooms with the rest of the dwelling and on every level.
What is an “interconnected photoelectric smoke alarm?”
To be compliant, a smoke alarm must be:
interconnected – this means that the alarms are linked to each other so that if any of the alarms are triggered, then they all trigger simultaneously. hardwired to a continuous power source, or be powered by a non-removable 10 year lithium battery photoelectric – these types of smoke alarms are best for smouldering fires, which are the most common fire in dwellings, and respond more quickly to burning household items such as foams, rubbers, plastics and synthetic materials. They are also, fortunately, not as prone to nuisance cooking alarms!
When does the new law come into effect?
There is a 10 year phased rollout of the new law. Interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms are required:
From 1 January 2017: in all new dwellings and substantially renovated dwellings (this applies to building applications submitted from 1 January 2017).
From 1 January 2022: in all domestic dwellings leased and sold.
From 1 January 2027: in all other domestic dwellings.
The new law also requires that from 1 January 2017 any newly installed or replacement smoke alarms must be photoelectric. Fines will apply for non-compliance.
New versions of the standard REIQ Queensland Conveyancing Contracts were recently released updating the reference to the Smoke Alarm law.
The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have created this helpful guide on the changes which may be useful to you and your clients.