Coral Sea Property Management's 2022 Smoke Alarm Legislation Guide


2022 Smoke Alarm Legislation Townsville Investment Property Owners Need to Know

Townsville Properties Smoke Alarm Legislation

Smoke alarms are an essential part of property safety and the Queensland government has road mapped legislation changes to ensure all Queensland properties are keeping up to date with the latest smoke alarms. Coral Sea Property Management Townsville has compiled this information to guide you through the changes, with one of the major changes comes into effect on the first of January 2022.


Property management experts can arrange specilised smoke alarm contgractors to test and install alarms

A smoke alarm being tested by a smoke alarm contractor

The Current Smoke Alarm Legislation (1st January 2017)

From the first of January 2017 landlords have been responsible for the installation of smoke alarms that comply with the new smoke alarm legislation. This includes replacing smoke alarms in residential investment properties that are more than 10 years old and any alarms that do not operate when tested. Alarms must be replaced with photoelectric alarms that comply with Australian standards Australian Standard 3786–2014.

Within 30 days before the start of a tenancy in your investment property, you must test and clean each alarm. During the tenancy, the tenant must test and clean each smoke alarm every 12 months.

Most property management experts, including Coral Sea Property Management, use a dedicated smoke alarm testing company to ensure all our owners are protected and meeting their legislative requirement. This means they also get a ‘certificate of compliance’ for peace of mind.

The New Smoke Alarm Legislation (1st January 2022)

On the first of January 2022, at the commencement of a new lease or lease renewal, your residential investment property must meet the new domestic smoke alarm legislation. This means the smoke alarm 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.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

  • In each bedroom; and
  • In hallways that 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.

Where smoke alarms can be installed in a residential property.

Smoke alarms must be installed on the ceiling where practical. Smoke alarms must also not be placed in the following areas:

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

There are special requirements for stairways, sloping ceilings, and ceilings with exposed beams. These requirements are explained in the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008. Penalties may be imposed for noncompliance with the law.

Helpful tips for avoiding nuisance alarms.

The number one complaint we receive about smoke alarms is nuisance alarms going off. Smoke alarm design has changed in recent years and the introduction of multiple sensors that need to be triggered has greatly reduced the number of nuisance alarms.

Nuisance alarms can be avoided by not placing alarms in or near kitchens as steam and smoke can sometimes trigger the alarm. Similarly placing alarms directly outside bathrooms can cause accidental alarms. Another leading cause is in insect prone areas such as a doorway leading to a well-lit patio area.

Get help with your smoke alarm requirements at Coral Sea Property Management Townsville

As one of the highest-rated Townsville property management experts, we take your investment property and obligations very seriously. We invest the time in understanding new and changing legislation. Then we implement systems using leading-edge technology and accountable local businesses to ensure not only are you are meeting your requirements, but your investment is being kept safe by the latest technology. You can find out more about picking the right property manager here. 


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