Functioning smoke alarms are an essential part of home fire safety.
It is a device that detects smoke and sounds an alarm. It is much more than a smoke detector which only detects smoke and has no alarm.It is compulsory for smoke alarms to be installed in ALL residential properties in Queensland. A smoke alarm could save your life and is an important part of fire safety and prevention in the home. They provide early warning signs and will protect your family and property. Properly maintained smoke alarm saves lives. It is as simple as that.
There is new Smoke Alarm legislation in Queensland. Make sure you know how this new legislation affects you.
Rented/Leased Properties MUST COMPLY BY January 1 2022. A dwelling being leased/rented must have interconnected photo-electric only alarms that operate when tested, are less than 10 years old and are either hard-wired OR powered by a non-removable 10-year battery by January 1. 2022.
Owner/Occupied Properties MUST COMPLY BY 1 January 2027. All existing private homes, townhouses and units will require photoelectric interconnected smoke alarms by January 1, 2027. These must be either a hardwired (eg. 240v) or non-removable 10-year battery powered type alarm.
To comply with the new legislation, Smoke alarms must be installed:-
Only one choice of smoke alarms now in Queensland
Queensland residents do not have a choice any more. The new legislation states that all smoke alarms installed or replaced MUST be Photoelectric.
Photoelectric smoke alarms (also known as optical) “see” the smoke i.e. are very good at detecting a smoldering fire. The new legislation has outlawed the use of Ionisation smoke alarms for all new houses or for use as replacements.
There is a subsidy available for deaf and hearing impaired people. It is funded by the Queensland Fire and Emergency services and managed by Deaf Services Queensland
Power Supply Options for Smoke Alarms
- Hard-wired 240 volt smoke alarms with battery back up (either a 10-year Lithium battery or a 9v Alkaline battery) are connected to your home’s electrical system and need to be installed by a qualified Electrical Contractor. Your smoke alarms should be interconnected to provide the maximum level of protection – all smoke alarms sound off simultaneously if one alarm is activated ensuring all members of the household are alerted. It is illegal to replace existing hard-wired smoke alarms with battery-operated smoke alarms.
- Battery-operated smoke alarms are solely operated by 10-year Lithium battery. Although battery-operated alarms can legally be installed by the home handyman, they still need to be maintained regularly to ensure that the battery is charged and the alarm working properly. Be sure to check when purchasing that the battery-operated smoke alarm can be interconnected.
When purchasing any smoke alarm ensure that it carries the Standards Australia Mark or is Scientific Services Laboratory labeled.
Maintenance of your Smoke Alarm
- A short, low beep every 60 seconds indicates that battery power is low. Change any 9v batteries every 12 months by choosing a specific date and doing it on that same date every year. If your alarm has a 10-year Lithium battery and is beeping, your alarm may need replacing – contact your electrical contractor.
- Test monthly by pressing the test button (carefully with a broom handle if necessary)
- Vacuum regularly, at least once a month, to clean vents
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