The principal smoke alarm laws in Western Australia consist of;
– the W.A Building Regulations 2012 (division 3) and;
– the Building Code of Australia.
In 1997 hard wired 240v smoke alarms became compulsory in Western Australia for all newly constructed residential buildings (or residential building extensions). From 2009 onwards this was extended to also include all existing residential buildings, prior to their transfer of ownership, rent or hire.
In W.A smoke alarms must;
- be positioned according to the requirements of the Building Code of Australia
- comply with Australian Standard 3786:2014
- be permanently connected to consumer mains power
- be interconnected, if your home was newly built after the 1 May 2015.
- be less than 10 years from the date of manufacture
The W.A Building Regulations 2012 does allow the use of non-replaceable lithium battery powered smoke alarms in certain situations however. This may include where mains power is not connected to the building, there is no hidden space to run the necessary wiring for mains powered alarms, and there is no appropriate alternative location – for example, where there is a concrete ceiling. Formal approval must be obtained by the local council to use lithium battery powered alarms in these situations.
Landlords who rent or hire out their property to tenants are required by law to maintain the smoke alarms. This includes ensuring the smoke alarm is;
- in good working order;
- permanently connected to mains power (i.e. 240 volt hard wired);
- less than 10 years old from manufacture date;
- if the use of a battery powered smoke alarm has been approved by the local council, the alarm has a non-removeable 10-year life lithium battery (i.e. not a 9 volt replaceable battery).
According to W.A legislation both ionisation and photoelectric smoke alarms are permissible, however the W.A Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) recommend interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms as the preferred type.