House fires are some of the most dangerous situations you can find yourself in.
The Queensland Fire Service attends thousands of house fires every year. Most of these fires are caused by small mistakes, like faulty electrics, cigarettes and candles that are left unattended.
Unfortunately, it only takes a moment for a small flame to turn into a blaze, and that poses a serious risk to your family.
Installing smoke alarms is the best thing you can do to prevent house fires, injuries or worse. And, with Queensland’s smoke alarm laws changing in 2027, it’s never too early to make sure your home is up to scratch.
In this article we’ll look at the new smoke alarm legislation, who can install smoke alarms in QLD, and how you can keep your family safe.
Queensland’s Changing Smoke Alarm Laws
The Queensland Government is making changes to smoke alarm laws. From 1 January 2022, any dwelling that is leased or sold must feature interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms that:
- Do not also contain an ionisation sensor
- Are less than 10 years old
- Operate when tested
Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey of the home:
- In every bedroom, and;
- In hallways that connect bedrooms to the rest of the property, or;
- Between bedrooms and other parts of the storey, or;
- If there are no bedrooms on a storey, one smoke alarm must be placed along the path you’d take to exit the home.
From 1 January 2027, these laws will apply to all new and existing dwellings that are sold, leased, renovated or constructed.
If you are installing new smoke alarms, or replacing existing alarms, you have the option of installing:
- 240V hardwired smoke alarms
- 10-year lithium battery powered smoke alarms
All new smoke alarms must be of the interconnected photoelectric type. Your alarm system can contain a mix of hardwired and battery powered smoke alarms, as long as they are interconnected. Interconnectivity can be wired and/or wireless.
Existing hardwired smoke alarms must be replaced with hardwired smoke alarms.
Battery powered smoke alarms must contain a non-removable lithium battery that’s rated to last for 10 years.
Visit the QFES website to see if you’re required to install or replace your smoke alarms.
What Are Photoelectric Smoke Alarms?
All new smoke alarms in Queensland must be photoelectric. Photoelectric smoke alarms use a beam of light to detect smoke. They are more responsive to small, smouldering fires (e.g. a lit cigarette), which makes them more effective in detecting and preventing house fires.
Your new photoelectric smoke alarms must also be interconnected, either through a wired and/or wireless connection. Interconnected smoke detectors all sound the alarm if one of the alarms detects smoke. This provides warning throughout the entire property and could save your family’s lives in the event of a fire.
Contact us if you’re unsure whether your smoke alarms are suitable. Compliant smoke alarms should be stamped with the code AS 3786-2014 on the body of the unit.
Who Can Install Smoke Alarms in QLD?
In Queensland, 240V hardwired smoke alarms must be installed by a licensed electrician. You can install battery powered smoke alarms yourself, but the installation must comply with the National Construction Code.
DIY Smoke Alarm Options
Queensland residents are permitted to install wireless interconnected smoke alarms without the help of a licensed electrician, provided that no electrical work is required.
These types of smoke alarms feature a 10-year lithium battery and don’t require 240V or a wired connection to other smoke alarms in the system.
Wireless smoke alarm systems still need to comply with the relevant design regulations. That means smoke alarms can’t be placed:
- Within 300mm of a corner between the ceiling and the wall
- Within 300mm of a light
- Within 400mm of an air conditioner or air conditioning vent
- Within 400mm of a ceiling fan
- In spaces with no air flow that would prevent smoke from reaching the alarm
- In spaces with excessive air flow that may cause false alarms or prevent smoke from reaching the alarm
There are additional requirements for stairwells, sloped ceilings and exposed beam ceilings.
We strongly recommend working with an electrician when installing any type of smoke alarms in your home. Even if you install battery powered alarms, your system still needs to meet Queensland’s regulations, and a DIY-installation could mean your home isn’t compliant.
Protect Your Family with Smoke Alarm Installation by Martel Electrical!
Smoke alarms are the best thing you can do to keep your home and family safe from fire. From 2027, all homes in Queensland will need to have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms installed. Working with an electrician is the best way to ensure your family is protected.
The Martel Electrical team are experienced electricians based in North Brisbane. We offer smoke alarm installation on all new and existing homes. Whether you’re installing new alarms, updating an old system or simply need us to check that your alarms are up to date, we can help.
We design smoke alarm systems that are tailored to your property. Our installations comply with the relevant Queensland legislation and the National Construction Code, so you can rest easy knowing your family is safe.
Contact us to make an appointment or to request a smoke alarm health check!