Are you purchasing a new home and are considering renting it out? If the answer is yes, important new laws are coming into effect on 1 January 2022 that you need to know about.

As a landlord, you will be responsible for the installation of smoke alarms that comply with new Smoke Alarm legislation, introduced on 1 January 2017.

From 1 January 2022, at the commencement of a new lease or lease renewal, you must ensure that your dwelling meets the requirements of the domestic smoke alarm legislation. This may involve installing interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms into the bedrooms in addition to any currently installed smoke alarms.

When it is time for your property’s alarms to be upgraded, those alarms must:

  • be photoelectric and comply with Australian Standard 3786-2014
  • not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
  • be less than 10 years old; and
  • operate when tested; and
  • be interconnected with every other ‘required’ smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

Any existing smoke alarm being replaced from 1 January 2017 must be a photoelectric-type alarm which complies with Australian Standard 3786-2014.

Where practicable smoke alarms must be placed on the ceiling, and should not be placed within:

  • 300mm of a corner of a ceiling and a wall
  • 300mm of a light fitting
  • 400mm of an air-conditioning vent
  • 400mm of the blades of a ceiling fan.

There are also special requirements for stairways, sloping ceilings, and ceilings with exposed beams.

Avoid installing smoke alarms in dead air space. This is an area in which trapped hot air will prevent smoke from reaching the alarm. This space generally occurs at the apex of cathedral ceilings, the corner junction of walls and ceilings, and between exposed floor joists.

The biggest cause of nuisance alarms is the toaster! Place the kitchen alarm well away from the cooktop and toaster if possible.

Avoid installing smoke alarms near windows, doors, fans or air-conditioners. Excessive air movement may prevent smoke and gases from reaching the smoke alarm or cause nuisance alarms. Also avoid insect infested areas, as insects can trigger the alarm.

Smoke Alarm

Upgrade your smoke alarms today

From 1 January 2022, landlords must install interconnected smoke alarms in residential rental properties.

When one goes off, they all go off, giving everyone extra time to escape.

All other dwellings must transition to full compliance by 2027.

Don’t leave it to the last minute. You could save a life.

More information can be found on the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website here