• Whether you:
  • are buying or selling a house,
  • already own a house that you live in,
  • are building or substantially renovating a house, or
  • own investment properties,

you should make sure you are aware of the current and upcoming Smoke Alarm Laws. 

From 1 January 2017, existing smoke alarms in dwellings that were manufactured more than 10 years ago must be replaced.  Smoke alarms should have the date of manufacture stamped on them.

As of 1 January, 2022 people about to rent or sell their property and as of 1 January, 2027 all homeowners will need to comply with the new Smoke Alarm Laws

New Smoke Alarm Laws

New smoke alarms that are required to be used from the above dates must be:

  • photoelectric (AS 3786-2014);
  • not contain an ionization sensor;
  • hardwired to the mains power with a secondary power source (ie. battery);
  • interconnected with other smoke alarms in the dwelling so they all activate together;
  • installed on each storey; and
    • in each bedroom; and
    • in hallways that connect bedrooms with the rest of the dwelling; or
    • if there is no hallway, between the bedroom and other parts of that story; and
    • if there are no bedrooms on a story, in the most likely path to travel to exit the building. 

You are required by law to test each smoke alarm at least once a year, but Queensland Fire and Emergency Services recommends that, once a month, you should:

  • press the test button on each alarm;
  • listen for the ‘chirping sound’ indicator for a flat battery; and
  • clean the grill on the alarm according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

What to look out for

For any homeowner or landlord with an existing dwelling, if you are replacing any smoke alarms, you must replace them with a “photoelectric” type which meets current Australian standards (“AS 3786-2014”). These optical alarms detect visible traces of combustion.

Even though most of the new regulations will not take effect until 2022 or 2027, it will make sense to make sure that, any smoke alarm you buy from now on is:

  • photoelectric;
  • capable of interconnecting with other alarms; and
  • hardwired or compatible with a non-removable 10-year battery.

The content of this article is to provide a general guide on this topic.  Please contact our team for professional advice about your specific circumstances.

For further information please visit the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website by clicking here: https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/community-safety/smokealarms/Pages/faq.aspx