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New Queensland Smoke Alarm Laws

New Queensland Smoke Alarm Laws

 Are you aware that the Queensland government is undertaking a three-stage rollout of new smoke alarm legislation?

Given the importance of functioning smoke alarms as an early warning system to help save lives, this is a welcome change to help residents be even safer in their homes. It’s essential all Queenslanders are aware of the new laws because as they affect us all!

 What is the New Smoke Alarm Legislation and How Does it Affect You?

Starting on the 1st January 2022, all Queensland residences needed to have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms fitted. These new alarms are required to be less than 10-years old and meet the Australian Standard 3786-2014. They must also be installed in all bedrooms as well as hallways on every level. Additionally, from January 1, 2017, all newly built or significantly renovated houses, townhouses (Class 1A buildings) and units (Class 2 buildings) have had to comply with the new legislation. The final stage of the new smoke alarm legislation sees all owner-occupied private dwellings being required to comply by 2027.

 Find out more about:

Owner-Occupiers

https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/prepare/fire/smoke-alarms/existing-properties

Landlords

https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/prepare/fire/smoke-alarms/landlords

Renters

https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/prepare/fire/smoke-alarms/renters

New Buildings or Renovation

https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/prepare/fire/smoke-alarms/new-builds-or-renovations

Selling or Leasing

https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/prepare/fire/smoke-alarms/properties-for-sale-or-lease

 How are Photoelectric Smoke Alarms and Ionised Smoke Alarms Different?

To put it in layman’s terms, photoelectric smoke alarms actually ‘see’ smoke from a fire by detecting visible particles of combustion. On the other hand, ionised smoke alarms sort of ‘smell’ it.  A photoelectric alarm will see smoke before an ionised alarm can smell it. Additionally, photoelectric smoke alarms will give earlier warnings of smouldering fires and tend to experience a lower number of nuisance alarms. Another benefit of photoelectric smoke alarms is that they do not contain any radioactive material and are safe for all locations in a residence.

What are Interconnected Smoke Alarms?

The new Queensland legislation requires smoke alarms to be interconnected. Interconnecting means that smoke detectors either use a cable or wi-fi to link them. With interconnected smoke alarms, if one sounds in a certain location, then all detectors throughout the property will go off. This ensures that people in other areas of the dwelling are given an earlier warning and have extra time to escape.

Why are Old Smoke Alarms Dangerous?

Smoke alarms that are old or have been damaged represent a major risk to people in a property. Smoke detectors in such a condition may respond slower and not give adequate time to exit the building. In the worst-case scenario, an old or damaged smoke alarm may fail to respond entirely posing extreme risks in the case of a fire. The new smoke alarm legislation in Queensland stipulates smoke detectors manufactured ten or more years ago need to be replaced with a new photoelectric model. If you suspect your alarms are that old, you can find out their age by checking the date of manufacture which is stamped on the alarm.

How Long do Smoke Alarms Work For?

In general, the average smoke detector lasts up to 10 years. Sparc Electrical strongly recommend testing your smoke alarms at least annually. To test your smoke detector, press the button labelled “Test” then the “Hush” button. If your smoke alarm fails to sound when testing, you’ll need to get in touch with your local electrician and have them replace it straight away. If you’d like to be even surer your alarm is still functioning correctly, you can buy cans of smoke from some electrical stores to use as a secondary test.

Why is my Smoke Alarm Chirping?

Almost always, a chirping sound emanating from your smoke alarm means the battery is going flat and must be replaced. Different types of smoke detectors have different types of batteries. Many units have removable 9-volt batteries which you can replace yourself. Some units use inbuilt Lithium batteries necessitating replacement of the whole unit when they fail. If you have hardwired 240V smoke detectors, you’ll need to call a qualified and licensed electrician to replace them. After replacing the battery your alarm still isn’t working, we recommend replacing the entire unit.

Comply with the New QLD Smoke Alarm Laws Today

The experienced electricians at Sparc Electrical have a long history with smoke alarms in all types of domestic and commercial properties. We can affordably supply and install a wide variety of smoke detectors to help you comply with the new QLD legislation. Our Master Electricians are fully qualified and licensed professionals who take pride in our workmanship and keeping families safe. If you live in North Brisbane, please get in touch with our office today on 0404 213 806 or email info@sparc-electrical.com.au.

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