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SMOKE ALARMS

GET INTERCONNECTED FROM 1 JANUARY 2022, ITS THE LAW

Upgrade your smoke alarms today

LANDLORDS

From 1 January 2017

Landlords are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms that comply with new Smoke Alarm legislation, introduced on 1 January, 2017.

Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago, as well as any smoke alarms that do not operate when tested, must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms that comply with Australian Standard 3786–2014.  All smoke alarms should be interconnected within the dwelling.

Landlords and Renters

Within 30 days before the start of a tenancy in a domestic dwelling, the lessor/landlord must test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling.

During a tenancy in a domestic dwelling, the tenant must test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling, at least once every 12 months.

To test a smoke alarm, press the 'test' button. Cleaning should be done according to the manufacturer's instructions, which is usually vacuuming.

You do not need to be qualified or licenced to clean or test a domestic smoke alarm.

Some real estate agents may outsource smoke alarm maintenance to another company with associated fees paid by the landlord. The real estate may request a "certificate of compliance" from these companies as proof of service. This is not a legal requirement but may be part of the real estate agent's internal process.

From 1 January 2022

From 1 January 2022, at the commencement of a new lease or lease renewal, you must ensure your dwelling / unit meets the requirements of the domestic smoke alarm legislation. This may involve installing interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms into the bedrooms in addition to the currently required smoke alarms. For further information see below.

OWNER OCCUPIER - EXISTING DWELLINGS

From 1 January 2017

Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms which comply with Australian Standards (AS) 3786-2014. (Note: the date should be stamped on the back)

Smoke alarms that do not operate when tested must be replaced immediately.

Existing hardwired smoke alarms that need replacement, must be replaced with a hardwired photoelectric smoke alarm.

From 1 January 2027

All existing private homes, townhouses and units will require photoelectric interconnected smoke alarms. These must be either a hardwired (eg. 240v) or non-removable 10 year battery powered type alarm.

The legislation requires smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:
on each storey
in each bedroom
in hallways that connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling
if there is no hallway, between the bedroom and other parts of the storey;
and
if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

NEW DWELLINGS AND DWELLINGS BEING RENOVATED

From 1 January 2017

As part of a building approval process, requiring a Building Certifier, all new homes and renovations should have the required smoke alarms installed pursuant to the requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC) formally known as Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the Building Regulation 2006.

What are the standard requirements?

Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:

be photoelectric (AS3786-2014); and
not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
be hardwired to the mains power supply with a secondary power source (i.e. battery); and
be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

The legislation requires smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:
on each storey
in each bedroom
in hallways that connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling
if there is no hallway, between the bedroom and other parts of the storey;
and
if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

Smoke alarms must be hardwired, or for existing dwellings, they can also be powered by a non-removable 10-year battery.
To get everyone out safely during a house fire, it is essential to also have a well-practised fire escape plan.

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