Queensland has a new smoke alarm legislation and there are requirements property managers/landlords should take note. The legislation mainly involves overseeing the replacement of smoke alarms with ones that comply with new standards.

Existing smoke alarms must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms which comply with Australian Standards (AS) 3786-2014. The new smoke alarm must also not contain an ionisation sensor. To make sure, smoke alarms are always functioning, it is recommended they be either hardwired to the main power supply or a backup source or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery.

To ensure protection, smoke alarms should be installed on every storey or level of the property, every bedroom, in hallways which connect bedrooms or areas between bedrooms and other parts of the same level or storey. If there are no bedrooms, at least one smoke alarm should be installed on the most likely path of travel. All smoke alarms should be interconnected so that they all activate together.

Another important reminder is to make sure smoke alarms are not be placed in dead air space, near windows and doors, insect infested areas, air conditioning vents, fans and light fittings. This is to avoid accidental alarms.

Changes to the smoke alarm legislation have been in place since 1 January 2017, calling for all new homes or units being sold or leased or existing leases renewed to comply within 5 years or by 1 January 2022.