What Do The Victorian Smoke Alarm Laws Actually State?

Victorian smoke alarm laws are derived primarily from the Victorian Building Regulations 2018 (which requires smoke alarms to be installed in accordance with the Building Code of Australia) and also the Victorian Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021, which places smoke alarm duties on both the landlord and tenant.

Victorian Building Regulations 2018 – Smoke Alarms

The Victorian Building Regulations 2018 (Part 9) state that interconnected smoke alarms need to be installed in accordance with the Building Code of Australia 2014. What this means is that;

  • Smoke alarms are mandatory and must be installed in residential buildings on or near the ceiling of every storey.
  • Smoke alarms need to be located in a position designed to wake sleeping occupants of a building.
  • Residential homes constructed before 1 August 1997 may have 10-year battery-powered photoelectric smoke alarms installed.
  • Residential homes constructed after 1 May 2014 and where there is more than one alarm in the property require mains powered and interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms.
  • Residential homes constructed after 1 August 1997 require 240V hardwired photoelectric smoke alarms with an inbuilt backup battery.

Smoke Alarm Legislation For Victorian Rental Properties

The Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 came into effect March 2021 and establishes requirements for smoke alarms in Victorian residential rental properties. The regulations stipulate duties for both landlords and tenants.

Vic Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 – Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarm Duties For Victorian Landlords (Rental Providers):

  • Ensure smoke alarms are correctly installed and in working order.
  • Ensure they are tested at least annually.
  • Replace the smoke alarm batteries as required.
  • Repair or replace alarms as an urgent repair.

The landlord must provide written information to the tenant on how to operate and test the alarms and also reminding them of their obligation not to tamper with the alarms and to report any defective smoke alarms.

Smoke Alarm Duties For Victorian Tenants (Renters):

  • Tenants must immediately give the landlord written notice if a smoke alarm is defective.
  • Tenants must not deactivate or remove a smoke alarm or interfere with its operation.

Direct links to the Victorian government website are posted below if you would like to read the full legislative documents for yourself.

Victorian Building Regulations 2018

Victorian Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021

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