Requirements for your smoke alarm

May 11, 2021

Getting your property fitted out with the latest smoke alarms is essential to ensure optimal safety and compliance with government legislation. In 2017 the Queensland Government imposed new smoke alarm requirements that will be required to be phased into homes over the current decade.

The new smoke alarm rules in Queensland will require homes and businesses to be fitted out with the latest smoke alarm technology. This will make Queensland homes among the safest in the country. But what are these new smoke alarm rules and what are the deadlines for compliance?

What smoke alarm do I get?

The new rules imposed by the Queensland Government require the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms in domestic homes. These smoke alarms are much more effective than older models of smoke alarms because:

  • They are less likely to be falsely activated by cooking.
  • Unlike older models, they do not contain any reactive materials
  • Respond to a wider range of fires.

These photoelectric smoke alarms are built to be compliant with Australian Standards (AS) 3786-2014. You can tell if a smoke alarm is photoelectric and up to the required standards because it will be marked with the year of manufacturing on the back. They will also be marked with the AS3786-2014. Compliant smoke alarms are usually packaged with certification labels such as ‘Activfire Certified’, Scientific Services Laboratory and ‘Certified Product- Australian Standard’.

How should I install the smoke alarms?

Purchasing compliant smoke alarms is not the end of your obligations, there are also strict rules regarding installation.

These smoke alarms must also all be interconnected with each other, which can be done either through a wired connection or wirelessly. This ensured that once one alarm goes off, these rest do the same to maximise the chance for all occupants to be alerted and evacuate the premises if necessary. These smoke detectors must be powered through a 10-year non-removable battery or hardwired.

Your smoke alarm must not be placed within:

  • 400mm of the blades of a ceiling fan
  • 400mm of an air conditioning vent
  • 300mm of a light fitting
  • 300mm of the corner of a ceiling and wall

What are the deadlines for installation?

Existing Households

Stage 1:

The requirements imposed as of 1 January 2017 suggest that existing smoke alarms must not be faulty or more than 10 years old. If so, they must be replaced immediately with photoelectric smoke detectors.

person removing smoke alarm from roof

Stage 2:

As of 1 January 2027, your home must contain interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms that are no more than 10 years old (as of 1st January 2017), operate when tested and contain no ionisation sensor.

Smoke alarms should be installed on each storey of a home and in the following places:

  1. In every bedroom
  2. In hallways that connect the bedrooms to the rest of the home. If there is no hallway, then between the bedrooms and other parts of that storey.
  3. If a storey has no bedrooms then a minimum of one smoke alarm must be installed where you most commonly enter and exit the home.

Households Being Sold, Leased or an Existing Lease is Renewed

From 1 January 2017, the same stage 1 rules imposed on existing households apply here.

However, by 1 January 2022, stage 2 rules for existing households apply here.

New Households and Households being Substantially Renovated

These households are obligated to follow the stage 2 rules as of 1 January 2017.

If you need any help with your smoke alarms contact Maines Electrical today. We offer an affordable, comprehensive service that includes smoke alarm supply, installation and servicing.