Changes to smoke alarm laws

As of 1 January 2017, the Queensland laws regarding smoke alarms in residential properties changed.  These changes were prompted following the fatal house fire in Slacks Creek in 2011 where 11 people died, of which 10 were asleep at the time of the fire.  When you are asleep, your sense of smell also sleeps, which is why people can be overcome with the toxic smoke in their sleep.

Each house is now required to be fitted with photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms in all bedrooms of the house as well as hallways or between areas containing bedrooms.

Research indicates that photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms which are hard-wired into the home are the most effective in providing an early alert of a fire.    So if you are asleep, the alarm in your room will alert you of a fire regardless of what part of the house the fire is in.

Apart from new build or houses with significant renovations (which are required to adhere to the new laws with immediate effect), properties that are leased or sold must comply within five years, and all other houses must comply within 10 years.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has a free Safehome initiative program to assist in eliminating fire and safety hazards around the home.  Queenslanders can request a visit from local firefighter who will advise them of the best locations for smoke alarms and suggest other fire safety initiatives around the home. To request a Safehome visit call 13QGOV or visit https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/community-safety/freeprograms/Pages/safehome.aspx

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