11 Apr How Queensland’s New Smoke Alarm Laws Affect You

How Queensland’s New Smoke Alarm Laws Affect You

In 2011, a devastating house fire killed 8 children and 3 adults at a home in Slack’s Creek.

This tragedy prompted a review of Queensland’s smoke alarm laws, with an aim to discover how to better protect homes and families and avoid a repeat of this heartbreaking situation.

The new laws, which were recommended by the state coroner, came into effect on 1 January 2017.

They affect all Queensland homes to one degree or another, and by 2027, every standard in the law will be mandatory for new and existing homes across the state.

Rather than viewing these new laws as a nuisance, at Atom Power we believe they provide a great opportunity to understand what research has revealed as the best way to protect your home and family from the threat of house fire.


Optimal Protection for Your Home & Family

Queensland’s smoke alarm legislation mandates the use of hardwired, interconnected, photoelectric fire alarms that comply with Australian Standard 3786-2014.

It sounds like a bit of a mouthful, but here’s the breakdown:

  • Hardwired – smoke alarms that are connected to your electricity supply (with a backup battery)
  • Interconnected – smoke alarms that are wired together or wirelessly connected so that when one goes off, they all go off
  • Photoelectric – smoke alarms that “see” smoke and therefore react much faster to smoky or smouldering house fires (the most common form of house fire)

The new laws also mandate that smoke alarms should be placed in every bedroom and hallway (or other areas depending on your home’s design) to ensure optimal protection.

While the rules won’t come into effect for existing homes until 2027, at Atom Power, we encourage all home owners and rental property owners to consider implementing these guidelines now. After all, people can’t be replaced, but they can be protected.

Whatever you decide, below we’ve outlined how the new laws currently affect you.


Smoke Alarms in Existing Homes

From 1 January 2017, any replacement smoke alarms you install must be photoelectric and comply with Australian Standard 3786-2014. Existing hardwired alarms that require replacement must be replaced with new hardwired alarms.


Smoke Alarms in Rental Homes & Homes For Sale

The same rules for existing homes apply to rental homes and homes for sale. In addition to this, existing landlord and tenant obligations in relation to smoke alarms remain in force.


Smoke Alarms in New Homes & Substantially Renovated Homes

From 1 January 2017, smoke alarms in new homes or homes that are being substantially renovated must comply with Australian Standard 3786-2014. They must be photoelectric, hardwired and interconnected, and must not contain an ionisation sensor.

These smoke alarms must be installed in every bedroom and hallway on every storey, or between bedrooms if there is no hallway. On storeys without bedrooms, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit your home.

The new laws also mandate where you should locate your smoke alarms in each room and hallway.


Homes in 2027

In 2027, all homes will be required to have photoelectric, hardwired and interconnected smoke alarms that comply with several other requirements set out in the new laws.


Choose Greater Protection

For greater peace of mind and confidence your family is protected, we encourage you to apply the measures outlined in Queensland’s new smoke alarm laws to your home.

If you’d like to learn about the new laws in greater detail, check out this fact sheet from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

You can also contact Atom Power on 1300 922 883. Our Brisbane electricians are happy to help you understand how the smoke alarm laws can be applied for your home. We can also assist you with installing smoke alarms that are compliant with requirements under the new law.


Disclaimer: Atom Power Pty Ltd has supplied this information in good faith. It is not intended as legal advice and is no substitute for reading the original legislation or information about the legislation provided by professional and government bodies such as Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. Readers are encouraged to seek further information about the legislation from these official sources.