Did you know that almost 70% of all deaths associated with household fires in Queensland occur in properties with no or faulty smoke alarms?

Some people still think they’re a nuisance to install and even more annoying to maintain, but those first seconds after the smoke and fumes start rising can be the difference between life and death.

But even if you’re fully on board with the need to install smoke alarms, Have you heard about fire and emergency services and the strict new smoke alarm legislation QLD-wide?

New Queensland smoke alarm legislation:

  • Was announced in 2017, applying immediately to new & renovated homes
  • Used from 2022 for all sold or leased residential homes
  • Will applies to all other residential properties from January 2027.

What are the new smoke alarm laws for?

According to the government, the goal is to make homes in the state of Queensland the most fire-safe on earth – which is a noble ambition. Eventually, it will ensure that every single place where Queenslanders live will be interconnected with every other smoke alarm, sophisticated photoelectric smoke alarms regulated by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services in every bedroom, hallway and house level, including the likely path of travel.

The ‘interconnected’ idea is that when one alarm goes off, any other smoke alarm in the property others activate together – adhering to Queensland’s smoke alarm requirements – maximising the chances of a safe and timely escape for everyone.

As ever, the devil is in the detail – so let’s take a deeper dive by answering all of the most common questions you have about Queensland fire and new smoke alarm legislation.

FAQ: Queensland Smoke Alarm Legislation 2017-2027

Q: What is a ‘photoelectric smoke alarm’, exactly?

A: In a nutshell, these are the most sophisticated ones – and much better than the type you may be used to that are constantly going off when there’s no sign of an actual fire or hazard.

The photoelectric technology is, however, triggered in a more sophisticated way by a wider range of fire types, including smouldering and overheating wiring.

  • TIP: Look for the Australian Standard AS 3786-2014, because that’s the one you’ll need.

Q: What if my existing smoke alarms are perfectly fine?

A: For owner-occupiers, as long as the existing hardwired smoke alarms in an average residential household are less than 10 years old and aren’t newly built, sold or leased, they can wait until 2027 before the smoke alarms need to be updated.

Q: What if my existing smoke alarm no longer works?

A: If that’s the case, you’ll need to buy a new smoke alarm that complies with the aforementioned AS 3786 2014 standard. And if that replaced smoke alarm was hardwired, the new one needs to be either hardwired or powered. If not hardwired, the new smoke alarm needs to be powered by a removable 10-year battery or a non-removable ten-year battery.

Q: What if I’m renting?

A: Luckily for you, the onus is on the Landlord rather than on you. If you were already renting the property prior to 2022, then the old smoke alarms can remain in place until they fail – as long as their less than ten years old.

But if you signed a lease this year, the new interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms must be a feature of the rented property.

Then, once your lease is underway, your only responsibility is to test (by pressing the test button) and clean the smoke alarms once a year. This is part of smoke alarm maintenance. Cleaning is done according to the manufacturer’s instructions and does not require any special training. However, your Landlord or the property management company may outsource that cleaning and maintenance.

Q: What if I’m selling a home?

A: From this year, you can’t sell or rent out a home without new photoelectric interconnected compliant smoke alarms.

Q: What about if I’m staying in a motel or caravan?

A: This new legislation about smoke detectors QLD-wide applies only to normal residential properties – not hotels, motels or even caravans. For other types of dwellings, other legislation applies.

Q: What happens on 1 January 2027?

A: The new laws were announced in 2017 with a ten-year phase-in, meaning that by 2027 it will apply to every single residential dwelling in Queensland – with no exceptions.

Need help with your smoke detectors QLD-wide?

Are you still confused about the new smoke detector laws QLD-wide? The friendly and fully licensed electricians at Your Electrical Expert understand all the ins and outs of the latest Queensland electrical standards – meaning you’ll be protected from both the risk of fire and the law.

A friendly professional with a fully stocked van is ready to head out to your location in Brisbane, Gold Coast and beyond, so get in touch with the smoke alarm technicians at Your Electrical Expert to find out more.