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New smoke alarm requirements for Gold Coast homes

Interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms will become standard in Gold Coast homes from 1 January 2017. The Queensland governments' recent amendments to the smoke alarm requirements in homes across the state are in response to the recommendations from the inquest into the disastrous Slacks Creek house fire in 2011 in which 11 people died.

The new amendments, which begin to roll out from the beginning of next year, are hoped to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.

The current standard requires one compliant smoke alarm on every level in a home and one outside sleeping areas. The updated legislation, which is in line with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services recommendations, dictates that smoke alarms are:

  • interconnected - either hardwired to your home's power supply with a battery backup or wirelessly interconnected 10-year lithium battery alarms
  • photoelectric type
  • located in every bedroom
  • located in hallways

What this means for your home

The gradual roll-out of the legislation begins on 1 January 2017 and deadlines for compliance vary depending on your situation.

  • homes built or undergoing major renovations must comply from 1 Jan 2017
  • homes leased or sold must comply within 5 years - by 2022
  • all owner occupied private dwellings need to be compliant within 10 years - by 2027

Photoelectric smoke alarms

Amendments also include the requirement that any new or replacement smoke alarms must be photoelectric style alarms in accordance with the amendments. Photoelectric smoke alarms provide the earliest warning in the event of a fire as they detect smoke from smoldering fires. This style of alarm in an interconnected system will quickly alert everyone in the home of an emergency as when one alarm detects smoke, all alarms instantly sound.

What to do next

If your home was built or significantly renovated after 1 July 1997 it will already be fitted with hardwired smoke alarms and may just need additional alarms fitted in each bedroom by your electrician.

However, if your property only has the minimum requirement of a 9-volt battery smoke alarm we recommend you speak to a licenced electrician or smoke alarm specialist about installing a hardwired smoke alarm system.

For more information on the new smoke alarm legislation read the full statement from Fire and Emergency Services Minister Bill Byrne - statements.qld.gov.au or contact our electrical team on 1300 150 753 or complete our service request form today.