With more than 10,000 house fires each year in Australia, the question is, are smoke alarms important?
Early detection of a fire through the use of a smoke alarm is vital in order to escape a house fire. That is why every home in Australia needs to be fitted with a smoke alarm.
Is Your Home Compliant?
There are rules and regulations set out in legislation for each state in Australia, although smoke alarms are legally required for most households. If you are unaware if your house complies with the set standards you should get a licenced electrician to inspect your property.
Types of Smoke Alarms
The most commonly used smoke alarms in Australia are Ionisation and Photoelectric. The main difference between them is the process in which they detect smoke:
- Ionisation alarms detect fire by using ‘smell’ once the fire has fully ignited.
- Photoelectric alarms can detect fires using ‘sight’, this means they activate quicker than the ionisation smoke alarms.
Photoelectric are the most recommended smoke alarms as they provide you with more time to escape.
What’s the Law About Smoke Alarms in Queensland?
In Queensland legislation was commenced which requires every residence to be fitted with smoke alarms in all bedrooms of the home as well as in hallways or between areas containing bedrooms. It also requires smoke alarms currently residing in homes that are less than 10 years old to be replaced once they expire. These new amendments to the legislation allow people to be alerted to house fires as early as possible, which then gives them the best possible chance of survival.
Any existing smoke alarm being replaced from 1 January 2017 must be a photoelectric-type alarm which complies with Australian Standard 3786-2014.
REIQ Contract – What do Buyers Need to Look For?
REIQ contracts are used in a majority of property transactions across the state and was created in partnership with the Queensland Law Society. This contract includes a smoke alarm installation check-box which must be filled in by the seller. Buyers need to ensure that this box is ticked before they sign the contract.
What are Owner’s Obligations to Tenants?
- Install smoke alarms;
- Test and clean the alarm 30 days prior to the start of a new tenancy;
- Replace each battery that is finished or almost finished;
- Replace the alarm before the end of its service life, or replace it immediately if it has reached the end of its service life (10 years).
What are Vendors are Required To Do?
If a property is sold in Queensland, the vendor must lodge a Form 24 with the Queensland Land Registry. This form informs that smoke alarms are installed and notifies the purchaser. This requirement means checking of smoke alarm installations is a vital part in selling or buying a residence in Queensland.
What if a Home Doesn’t Have a Smoke Alarm?
Smoke alarms are compulsory in Queensland. Therefore, failure to install a compliant smoke alarm will be an offence under the Fire and Emergency Services Act. More information can be found on the QFES website.
If you have any enquires contact McLaughlin & Associates on (07) 3808 7777.