The Rulebook: QLD Smoke Alarm Legislation

Did you know that when you sleep you lose your sense of smell? You might think it’s the enticing scent of freshly brewed coffee that jolts you awake in the morning, but in actual fact, you can only register that hit of caffeine upon awakening. This also means that when you’re in a deep sleep, you won’t smell smoke from a fire. It’s an alarming fact that illustrates the importance of installing a smoke detector – an act that can reduce your risk of dying from a house fire by almost half.  

Get in touch with a professional installation service to ensure you’re upholding the Queensland smoke alarm requirements, which regulate types of alarms, the installation process and how they should be powered and hardwired. These rigorous rules currently apply to all new and substantially renovated homes, and as of January 1st, 2022, will extend to all domestic dwellings leased and sold. To avoid a hefty fine, it’s important to be prepared for the new legislation. Below, we explain the three Queensland smoke alarm legislation guidelines you need to keep in mind – whether you’re a renter, landlord or homeowner.

Rule 1: New smoke alarms must be photoelectric

First things first: what is a photoelectric alarm? It’s the new smoke detector on the block, intent on phasing ionisation alarms out of the building. A photoelectric alarm includes an LED light and a sensor positioned perpendicular to each other. When the smoke enters the chamber, the particles scatter the beam of light. This then activates the sensor and triggers the smoke alarm within just three to five minutes.

In contrast, ionisation alarms have a response time of 20 minutes or longer. By picking up on signs of danger earlier, photoelectric smoke detectors give you more time to escape your house before it’s too late. The type of smoke alarm you install could be the difference between life and death.

Rule 2: Smoke alarms more than 10 years old must be replaced

After 10 years, smoke alarms may not operate efficiently anymore due to a variety of elements. These include a build up of dust, insects, airborne contaminants and even electrical corrosion. When it’s time for your smoke detector to retire, it’s important that you get in touch with a licensed electrician to install a replacement. 

If you’re unsure how old yours is, check the date of manufacture listed on the smoke alarm, often found within the batch or serial numbers. Struggling to find the date? Get in touch with the supplier or manufacturer, or simply replace it. After all, it’s better to be safe than risk the alternative! 

Rule 3: Faulty smoke alarms must be replaced immediately

There’s nothing worse than a repetitive high-pitched screech interrupting your dinner preparations. A faulty smoke alarm could be due to over-sensitivity, which is a signal of potential for future failure the older the detector gets. If you have a faulty alarm, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. When you’re discarding your faulty alarms, both photoelectric and ionisation smoke detectors can be disposed of in domestic rubbish. However, if you’re scrapping more than ten at once, they must be treated as radioactive waste.

Smoke Alarm Installation

To ensure you’re protecting your family and are prepared for the new QLD legislation guidelines, hire a skilled and licensed professional to install your photoelectric smoke detectors. At Dawson Electric, we have over 30 years of industry experience, and our electricians assess, install, maintain and replace smoke alarms for optimal safety. Book a FREE quote now for your smoke alarm installation and get set for the 2022 alarm requirements.

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