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).
– 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.
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.