Queensland Smoke Alarm Legislation
Get the Facts – 2022 Queensland Smoke Alarm Legislation
Regan Leatch

Queensland Smoke Alarm Legislation

Smoke alarms are an essential part of property safety. The Queensland government has made legislation changes to make sure homeowners stay up-to-date with the latest smoke alarms. The team at Coral Sea Property prepared this information to guide you through these changes to the Queensland smoke alarm legislation. 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 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.

New Smoke Alarm Legislation (1st January 2022)

On the 1st of January 2022, at the commencement of a new lease or a new renewal, your residential property must mee the new domestic smoke alarm legislation.

This means that a smoke alarm must:

  • be photoelectric and comply with 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 “required” smoke alarm in the dwelling so that they will all activate together.

Queensland homes are required to have smokey alarms installed on each storey:

  • In each bedroom.
  • 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.
  • 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 or both may be allowed.

Where smoke alarms can be installed in a residential property

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

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