Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms save lives and can minimise damages to buildings.

Smoke alarms and the law

Under the Building Regulations 2012, dwelling owners must ensure that smoke alarms are installed prior to selling, transferring ownership, renting or hiring a dwelling.

Smoke alarms must comply with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the Australian Standard for residential smoke alarms (AS 3786-2014).  

It is the responsibility of the property owners to have compliant smoke alarms installed in:

  • Class 1a – Single residential dwellings and grouped dwellings or the like
  • Class 1b – Hostels/ boarding houses/ guest house/ bed and breakfast or a like with a total floor not exceeding 300m2
  • Class 2 – Apartments or flat or the like
  • Class 4 – Caretaker’s residence or the like in a non-residential building.

Where your home has more than one smoke alarm, we recommend that smoke alarms be interconnected. This means that when one smoke alarm detects a fire, all alarms throughout the house will sound to alert all the occupants of your home.  If your home was newly constructed since the 1st May 2015, you are required by law to interconnect your smoke alarms.

In the interest of your safety, the Shire urges all of its home owners to install hardwired smoke alarms in their residence and to adopt the 1st of April as the day to replace backup batteries.

What is a compliant smoke alarm?

Smoke alarms are required to be installed in accordance with the BCA and the AS 3786-2014. They must be in working order and permanently connected to mains power (hard-wired).

Only a licensed electrician is required to connect the smoke alarms to the mains power supply.

Smoke alarms must be no more than 10 years old, when dwelling ownership is transferred, or when a building is rented or hired. 

Battery powered smoke alarms that have a non-removable 10- year life battery can only be installed where main power is not connected to the dwelling or there is no hidden space in the existing dwelling to install wiring for hard wired alarms or no alternative locations.

Owners should be aware the it is unlawful to install battery powered smoke alarms just because it is convenient to do so. Application for approval to install a battery powered alarm is required and the Shire will review the circumstances during the Building Permit approval process.

More information and contacts

For more information about smoke alarms please visit the Department of Fire and Emergency Services or contact us.

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