New smoke alarm legislation will make Queensland households the safest in Australia in relation to fire safety.
QFES has long recommended photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms to be hard-wired into homes and the decision to mandate this in what is the strongest legislation of its kind in the country, will see more Queensland lives saved.
The new legislation specifies that all Queensland dwellings will be required to have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms in the following areas:
- All bedrooms
- In hallways that connect bedrooms with the rest of the dwelling
- On every level
A 10-year phased roll out of interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms in Queensland will happen over three periods starting from 1 January 2017.
To comply with legislation, 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.
When it comes to alerting people early to fires, research supports photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms as the most effective. When you sleep, your sense of smell also sleeps. If a fire starts, toxic fumes can overcome you before you realize what is happening. An interconnected alarm system means that if you are asleep it doesn’t matter what part of the house the fire starts in, the alarm in your room will alert you. Photoelectric smoke alarms see smoke and will alert you early, so you can escape.
Although some residents will have up to 10 years to comply with the changes, everyone should take action to update their alarm systems as soon as possible and make sure their new alarms comply with Australian Standard AS3786 for photoelectric smoke alarms.
New legislation specifies the type, positioning, and interconnectedness of alarms, which are critical factors for an early warning and quick escape. Residents are also advised to review their fire escape plans. As people become more familiar with the new smoke alarm legislation and what is required, QFES advises they should continue to maintain their current smoke alarms.
More information on the smoke alarm legislation can be found here:
Further information about fire escape plans: