Every Queensland home is required to have interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarms in every bedroom, living space and hallway.
What you need to know.
If you are the owner of a significantly renovated property or a new build approved after the first of January 2017,you will be required to have photoelectric alarms installed in each bedroom, hallway and living space. The alarms must be interconnected and installed by a licensed electrician .
When does this take effect?
Homes recently built, or significantly renovated will be required to meet the new requirements from January 1, 2017.
Any homes leased or sold from January 1, 2022 will be required to meet the new requirements.
All owner occupied residents will need to meet the new requirements within the next 10 years (January 1, 2027).
However, fire season is upon us; every 4.8 hours, there is a house fire in Queensland. In 2013-2014, the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council recorded 98 fire deaths. Nearly half of these may have been prevented if the homes had working smoke alarm systems.
What is a photoelectric fire alarm? How does it compare to the battery operated ones I already have at home?
Photoelectric smoke alarms ‘see’ the smoke by detecting particles of combustion. This style of smoke alarm provides the earliest warning of a fire while also being less likely to trigger false alarms. Photoelectric is superior as it is more sensitive to larger particles of fires that are actually threatening.
The alarms that you currently have installed in your home are likely Ionisation alarms. While these meet the sensitivity requirements, they provide insufficient protection as the false alarms are more frequent – meaning people are more likely to remove the battery/switch them off, forgetting to replace them and therefor putting their home and their family at serious risk.
What does ‘interconnected’ mean?
The new legislation means that all the alarms in your home must ‘communicate’ with each other. Either through hardwired mains power supply, or wireless connectivity with a 10-year minimum lithium battery.
This means that if one alarm is triggered, anywhere in the house, all others are activated, providing the earliest and best warning of a fire for all occupants.
All hard wired smoke alarms are required to be installed by a licensed electrician.
For more information on the new legislation and how it affects you, take a look at the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services fact sheet.