New smoke alarm laws come into effect on January 1 2022

Rentals and properties being sold

Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:

i) be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and

ii) not also contain an ionisation sensor; and

iii) be less than 10 years old; and

iv) operate when tested; and

v) be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

i) in each bedroom; and

ii) in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling; or

iii) if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey; and

iv) 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.

Installation locations

Where practicable smoke alarms must be placed on the ceiling.

Smoke alarms must not be placed:

i) within 300mm of a corner of a ceiling and a wall;

ii) within 300mm of a light fitting;

iii) within 400mm of an air-conditioning vent;

iv) 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 non compliance with the law.

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