According to the Queensland government, your risk of dying in a house fire is slashed in half simply by having working smoke alarms. They also report that three out of every five home fire deaths occur in a house whose smoke alarm installations are either missing or faulty. Those are some pretty alarming statistics, but it also explains why the same government is so serious about its latest QLD smoke alarm legislation.
All your questions answered
So what do you need to know about this new smoke alarm legislation in Queensland? Let’s dive straight in with 11 straight answers to the most common 11 questions:
1. Smoke alarm legislation QLD – What’s the deal?
It’s officially called the Building Fire Safety (Smoke Alarms) Amendment Regulation 2016, but it’s such a big deal that it’s being gradually phased in. Most of it is already in place by now, but if your existing installed smoke alarms are still less than 10 years old, you don’t have to worry until 2027.
2. What’s the goal?
Obviously, the goal is to save lives, but the government actually says it wants to make Queensland the most fire-safe state to live in on earth, which is good news.
3. How will the smoke detector laws work?
The endgame is that every single Queensland home will eventually have the best-of-the-best type of modern residential smoke alarm system up and running. They’re called interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms.
4. What are interconnected smoke alarms?
It means there are multiple smoke alarms fitted around the home, and they’re all connected wirelessly to the same central system. So when one smoke alarm detects trouble, all the rest of them go off as well.
5. Where do the various alarms need to be fitted?
Every bedroom, hallways connecting bedrooms, and then on every level of a multi-level dwelling.
6. What does the ‘photoelectric’ part mean?
With the sort of smoke alarm you’re used to, called ionization smoke alarms, a significant amount of smoke particles need to enter the sensing chamber to trigger the high-pitched sound. But generally, an actual flaming fire is necessary for the ionization disruption to occur.
Cutting-edge photoelectric technology, on the other hand, is much better at detecting the tiniest particle of smoke because a photocell detects the way the light is being scattered in a slightly different way. As such, it’s very good at detecting a smouldering fire before there are any real flames.
7. So when will I need to have these smoke alarms?
The legislation says that as of 2022, every newly sold, renovated, new or leased residential home needs to have an interconnected system up and running. And every other property in Queensland must be compliant by 2027.
8. Are they battery-powered?
Batteries will need to be fitted, but that’s just a backup power source. So for a brand new home, or if you’re doing major renovations, the entire system will need to be hard-wired.
9. Will renters also need to comply?
No, that will be your landlord’s responsibility. And as those smoke alarms fail in a rented property, the replacement must be up to Australian Standard AS 3786-2014.
10. Is it just residential houses that are affected?
No, the new laws apply to every domestic dwelling – so that’s townhouses and units, too.
11. What if I just ignore the legislation?
Then you’re risking huge fines – and we’re talking almost $7000 for a normal home and over $30,000 for a corporation.
QLD smoke alarm legislation – Need help?
Do you have any other questions about Queensland’s new smoke alarm legislation? We’ve tried to give you the low-down, but there are a lot of sections, provisions and technical details that can be super-confusing to get your head down. But our Brisbane electricians can help!
If all you want to do is put this complex legislation in the hands of a professional, look no further than our expert electrical services company – and we’ll do the rest. For fully-guaranteed workmanship, a family business operating throughout the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane and beyond and no-fuss services with no-risk upfront pricing, give us a shout right here at Static Electrics.