If you thought installing a smoke alarm was as simple as going to the hardware store, buying a smoke alarm, taking it home and slapping it on the wall or ceiling, then this article is a must read.
As of 1st January 2017 new legislative changes were brought in regarding smoke alarms, specifying the type of alarm that can be installed and with different requirements depending on if they are being fitted or replaced in an existing dwelling, a dwelling that is being sold or leased or a lease renewal.The legislation also relates to the prescribed locations for installing smoke alarms.
In summary for “existing dwellings” as at 1st January 2017 all replacement alarms must be of a photoelectric type, which complies with Australian Standard (AS)03786-2014.
If an existing alarm is over 10 years old it must be replaced (alarms should have a date of manufacture stamped on them).
If the alarm does not operate when tested, it must be replaced immediately, and if the existing alarm is hardwired, it must be replaced with another hardwired alarm.
If a dwelling is being sold, leased or is due to have a lease renewed all of the above requirements apply, however, existing landlords and tenants obligations still apply and property sellers must lodge a Form 24 with the Queensland Land Registry Office stating the requirements of the smoke legislation have been met.
As for new dwellings and dwellings being substantially renovated, the development approval process will ensure that building approvals received on or after 1st January 2017 will bring dwellings into compliance with the new laws.
Smoke Alarm Testing & Installation
The legislation also goes on to prescribe the placement of smoke alarms and where they can and can’t be installed with the preference being for installation on the ceiling, but not just anywhere on the ceiling. There are special requirements for stairways, sloping ceilings and ceilings with exposed beams and also a procedure if prescribed location preferences cannot be met.
As evidenced by this information all homeowners, and particularly landlords have obligations under this current and evolving legislation that cannot be ignored as it could be a matter of life or death. There are further changes to come into effect 1st January 2022 and 2027.
If you want to make sure that you are not in breach of this legislation and that your family, tenants and property are safe, it really is best to call a professional.
Independent Inspections - http://iigi.com.au are experts in compliance and can also take care of the installation of the most suitable and compliant smoke alarm for your situation. For more information go to our website or give us a call on 1300 857 149.