From 1 January 2022, smoke alarms in Queensland residential properties sold or leased must have photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms installed to meet the new strict legislative requirements in accordance with the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 (Qld) and Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 (Qld). All other dwellings must transition to full compliance by 2027.
New Smoke Alarm Requirements
Smoke alarms in a dwelling must:
- be photoelectric (Australian Standard 3786-2014);
- not also contain an ionisation sensor;
- be less than 10 years old;
- operate when tested; and
- be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.
Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:
- in each bedroom; and
- in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling; or
- if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms 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 powered by a non-removable 10-year battery, or a combination of both may be allowed.
If you are selling property and enter into a contract after 31 December 2021, then you must comply with the new requirements prior to settlement. You must declare to the buyer on the contract and the transfer documents whether the property has compliant smoke alarms installed.
If you fail to comply with the new requirements, then you run the risk of being fined for breach of the fire safety laws and the buyer may also be entitled to an adjustment at settlement equal to 0.15% of the purchase price. The adjustment must be claimed by the buyer in writing prior to settlement. If the seller has not complied after settlement, the buyer will be required to install compliant smoke alarms.
If you are buying property, you should engage a qualified electrician to inspect the smoke alarms to ensure they are compliant as part of your building and pest inspection.
For owner occupiers
Owner occupiers have until 1 January 2027 to make their home compliant, provided that the property is not sold, leased, or substantially renovated, and remains owner occupied.
Landlords must ensure that, from 1 January 2022, at the commencement of a new lease or lease renewal, dwellings/units meet the new smoke alarm requirements.
There may also be significant insurance implications as insurers may refuse to insure a property which does not comply with the new smoke alarm requirements.
We have an experienced and professional team in place ready to assist with any of your conveyancing and other property needs, so feel free to contact us to discuss the new smoke alarm requirements or other property related matters.
The blog published by Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers is intended as general information only and is not legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing the blog posts, the reader understands there is no solicitor-client relationship between the reader and the author. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a legal practitioner, and readers are urged to consult RCR on any legal queries concerning a specific situation.