1 April 2019
Written by: Brad Minhinnick
Smoke alarms are extremely important safety devices. Without a smoke alarm the risk of death, caused by fire in your home, is THREE TIMES greater than if you do have one installed.
In Queensland around three-quarters of all home fire deaths occur in homes that do not have smoke alarms. Around 50% of all deaths caused by smoke happen when the family is sleeping.
Property Managers, Landlord’s and Tenants all have their part to play in keeping properties compliant and as safe as possible. QLD has one of the strictest smoke alarm requirements in Australia due to a horrific tragedy which saw 11 people die in a house fire. The inquest found that there were no working smoke alarms in the property. Since then new legislation has been brought in.
From 1 January 2022:
Smoke alarms in all dwellings must:
- be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and
- not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
- be less than 10 years old; and
- operate when tested; and
- be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together; and
- be either hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery.
Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:
- in each bedroom; and
- in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling; or
- if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey; and
- if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.
In addition to the above, property managers/owners are currently required to:
- test and clean smoke alarms and replace any flat or nearly flat batteries within 30 days before the start or renewal of a tenancy
- not remove a smoke alarm or a battery (other than to replace it), or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of the alarm e.g. paint it.
- test and clean (by vacuuming or dusting) smoke alarms at least once every 12 months
- replace any flat or nearly flat batteries
- advise the property owner/manager if there is any issue with the alarm (apart from batteries)
- allow the property owner/manager right of entry to install smoke alarms
- not remove a smoke alarm or the battery (other than to replace it), or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of the alarm e.g. paint or cover it
You do not need to be qualified or licensed to clean or test a domestic smoke alarm. Link Living outsources the smoke alarm inspections to Detector Inspector – Detector Inspector is a dedicated safety and compliance company. They specialise in the installation and maintenance of residential and commercial safety solutions. Detector Inspector offers a wide range of services, including smoke alarm maintenance, essential services, gas safety and electrical services. http://www.detectorinspector.com.au/
All information gathered from https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/Renting/During-a-tenancy/Maintenance-and-repairs/Smoke-alarms Find out more about the new smoke alarm legislation from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. If you have questions concerning the new smoke alarm legislation, email SmokeAlarms@qfes.qld.gov.au.