Tag: Queensland smoke alarm legislation

Queensland Smoke Alarm Legislation

The two key pieces of QLD smoke alarm legislation are called the;

  • Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990
  • Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008

The goal of the legislation is to reduce loss of life by ensuring that all fire safety installations (including interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms) within a domestic building are adequately maintained.

Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008 – Smoke Alarms

Part 5A of the QLD Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 deals with photoelectric smoke alarm requirements for domestic dwellings. It states that 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.

Where Smoke Alarms Must Be Installed

Part 5A also states exactly where smoke alarms must be installed inside a domestic dwelling (the prescribed locations). It says that photoelectric smoke alarms must be installed in;

  • each bedroom.
  • the hallway which connects each bedroom.
  • if there is no hallway connecting each bedroom, then a part of the storey that is between the
    bedroom and the rest of the dwelling.
  • for each storey with no bedrooms—on the most likely travel path of exit from the dwelling.

Where Smoke Alarms Must Not Be Installed

Part 5A (3) also provides exact distances and measurements where smoke alarms should / should not be installed. It states that smoke alarms must not be installed;

  • within 300mm of a light fitting.
  • within 300mm of a corner of the ceiling and a wall.
  • within 400mm of an opening from which air is supplied from an air conditioner or forced air vent.
  • within 400mm of the blades of a ceiling fan.

Fire And Emergency Services Act 1990 – Smoke Alarms

The QLD Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 says that from 1st January 2022 all rental properties and properties being sold or substantially renovated 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

If the smoke alarm being replaced was hardwired to the domestic dwelling’s electricity supply, the replacement smoke alarm must also be hardwired to the dwelling’s electricity supply. Any newly constructed homes or substantial renovations must have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms which are hardwired to the mains power supply. A definition of a ‘substantial renovation’ is provided on pages 103-104 of the Act.

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

Interconnected Smoke Alarms In QLD Rental Properties

With respect to QLD rental properties, the Act also requires that;

  • The lessor must test each interconnected smoke alarm within 30 days before the start of a tenancy in a domestic dwelling.
  • The tenant must test each interconnected smoke alarm in the dwelling at least once every 12 months.
  • If the tenant is aware a smoke alarm in the dwelling has failed, the tenant must advise the lessor as soon as practicable.
  • The tenant must clean each interconnected smoke alarm at least once every 12 months.

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

Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008 (current as at 24 June 2022)

Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 (current as at 26 April 2024)

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