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The two key pieces of legislation in QLD are called the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 and the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008.

The goals of the legislation are to ensure that all fire safety installations (including smoke alarms) within a building are maintained.

Part 5A of the Building Fire Safety Regulation deals with interconnected smoke alarm requirements for domestic dwellings and says smoke alarms must;

  • Comply with the Australian Standard AS 3786:2014
  • Contain a photoelectric sensor, and not also contain an ionization sensor
  • Be hardwired into a building’s power supply or powered by a non-removable minimum 10-year lifespan battery

The QLD Fire and Emergency Services Act says that from 1st January 2022 all rental properties in QLD must have smoke alarms which;

  • Are less than 10 years old
  • Be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the building so that all activate together
  • Operate when function tested

Additionally, these requirements will become mandatory for ALL dwellings in Queensland by 1st January 2027.

If you would like to read the QLD legislation in full, direct links are provided below.

https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pdf/inforce/2018-07-01/sl-2008-0160https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pdf/inforce/current/act-1990-010

There are three important differences between our wireless interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms and conventional smoke alarms.

1) Our smoke alarms are photoelectric (not ionisation). Older conventional smoke alarms use radioactive ionisation as the process by which they detect smoke particles in the air. Ionisation smoke alarms are good at detecting smoke from flaming fires, but are less adept at detecting smoke from smouldering flames which is common of most house fires. Ionisation alarms have also been known to cause frustrating nuisance alarms, which might condition people to switch them off, putting themselves at risk. For these reasons the older style ionisation smoke alarms are being phased out both in Australia and internationally.

2) Older smoke alarms typically operated as stand-alone units. If a smoke alarm sensed smoke on the ground floor of a building – yes it may activate, but any other smoke alarms on the upper floors would not activate until smoke had entered the same air space – by this time it could be too late to initiate an effective response (or escape).
Our smoke alarms are wirelessly ‘interconnected’ together – so if one alarm detects smoke anywhere within a building, then all smoke alarms paired within the same network will simultaneously initiate their alarm. This can provide increased early warning and response time for residents.

3) Our smoke alarms have a sealed 10 year life lithium battery. Conventional smoke alarms are usually powered by a 9v replaceable battery. When the battery life becomes drained over time the smoke alarm begins to emit a loud intermittent ‘chirp’ noise. The chirp serves as a noisy (and annoying) reminder to replace the battery, and continues until the battery is replaced. As seen in the past, residents can remove the battery, disabling the chirping noise and the alarm itself, often with tragic consequences.
Because our smoke alarms are powered by a long life 10-year lithium  battery which is sealed inside the unit, the battery cannot be deliberately removed. At the end of the 10-year battery life span, the entire smoke alarm unit is simply replaced with a new one!
Don’t risk your life or that of your loved ones – whatever smoke alarm you have in your home please check to ensure it is; interconnectable, photoelectric and contains a sealed 10 year long life battery (or hard wired).

On 1st January 2022 new laws outlined in the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 came into effect. These new laws place extra duties upon Queensland property sellers to ensure that;

– interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms (not also containing an ionisation sensor) have been installed on every level and in every bedroom and interconnecting hallways outside the bedrooms

– be hardwired to the mains power supply, if currently hardwired, or powered by a non-removeable 10-year lithium battery

– comply with Australian Standard 3786:2014, be less than 10 years old, and function when tested

Disclosure obligations and smoke alarm compliance

If you are selling a residential property in QLD you are required by law to disclose certain information to the buyer before they enter into a contract – the two main documents where this information is captured are;

  • the contract of sale
  • the ‘Form 24’ (Transfer of Title)

Contract of Sale

The standard contract of sale in Queensland contains a section that the seller is required to complete prior to the buyer signing the contract, stating whether the property is fitted with compliant smoke alarms. When preparing a property for sale, these smoke alarm requirements must be met before a property can settle.

As a seller you cannot contract out of this obligation and must comply with the minimum smoke alarm requirements. Failure to install compliant smoke alarms is an offence (even if it has been disclosed) and the seller may be subject to a fine (a seller can still be fined for committing an offence after the property has been sold). As such, it is recommended that QLD sellers ensure compliant interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms are installed at their cost prior to settlement.

Form 24

When a property is sold, the vendor must also lodge a Form 24 (Transfer of Title) with Titles Queensland (formerly called the Queensland Land Registry Office), stating that the above requirements of the smoke alarm legislation have been met, and that the purchaser is aware of the fact. The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) can subsequently access the property specific smoke alarm information contained within the Form 24.

Smoke alarm compliance certificate when selling in QLD?

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is Queensland’s peak professional body for the real estate industry. On their website they clarify a few points in relation to smoke alarm compliance certificates when selling, and this is what they state;

Please refer to our Legal Disclaimer. Information provided is general in nature and should not be construed as expert legal advice. You should always seek the assistance of an independent legal professional when selling or purchasing a property.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarms – New QLD Legislation – Landlords

Video courtesy Queensland Fire and Emergency Website.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarms – New QLD Legislation – Owners

Video courtesy Queensland Fire and Emergency Website.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarms – New QLD Legislation – Renters

Video courtesy Queensland Fire and Emergency Website.

Commissioner Wants Most Common Smoke Alarm Banned

Video courtesy Channel 7 News.

New QLD Smoke Alarm Laws – Residential Tenancies Authority and QLD Fire and Emergency Services Joint Webinar