Smoke alarm-detectors.

Smoke alarm-detectors. Courtesy of Peter Weddell, owner/operator of Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service and Queensland Building Inspection Service, QBIS.

Queensland Government legislation requirements:

As of 1/01/17 Queensland Fire and Emergency service requirements for Smoke alarms in houses being sold, leased or an existing lease renewed, have been changed.

Queensland Goverment regarding safety and smoke alarms

What do smoke alarms-detectors do?

Alert you of smoke and fire, that can potentially save your life!

Qld Government on Photoelectric smoke alarms

Type of detector needed?

  • Photoelectric.
  • Battery.
  • Hardwired.
  • Linked.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services recommends all homes are fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms (not ionisation types).

Your obligations regarding Smoke alarms-detectors?

  • Owner.
  • Tenant.
  • Seller.
  • Landlord.

Qld fire department on legislation requirements for smoke alarms

How many do I need and what locations?

  • How many Smoke Alarms are required is dependant on the size and sometimes design of the house.
  • Attach Alarms to the ceilings, not on walls. Read the manufacturers recommendations.

QFES Smoke alarm documents

Where not to install them?

Do not install near:

  • Windows, doors, fans, air-condition units.
  • Outside bathrooms.
  • Fluorescent lights, this may affect them.
  • Kitchens areas.

These locations are likely to cause false alarms.

Can I install them myself or do I require a qualified electrician?

Although you can install battery operated smoke alarms, I would strongly advise consulting your local fire authority or a professional installer to help advise you on the most effective locations.

Who installs them?

Hardwired smoke detectors must be installed by a qualified electrician.

How much do they cost?

Very little in comparison to saving a life!

What is the life span of a Smoke Alarm?

Write down the expiry date recommended by the manufacturer and replace it within that time frame.

How often do the batteries need to be replaced?

This is dependant on the type of battery, some are guaranteed to last up to 10 years.

  • Within 1 year, replace the battery, unless they are guaranteed to last longer.
  • Lithium batteries have a longer life span than Alkaline or standards batteries

Maintenance of Smoke Alarm-detectors:

Smoke Alarms must be checked on a regular basis.

  • Press the test button on the smoke alarm and replace the battery when necessary.
  • If hardwired, have the Alarm replaced by a qualified electrician.
  • Do not paint the Smoke Alarm.
  • Make sure the Alarm is kept clean.
  • Never disable the Alarm.
  • Write down the expiry date recommended by the manufacturer and replace it within that time frame.
  • Within 1 year, replace the battery, unless they are guaranteed to last longer. Lithium batteries have a longer life span than Alkaline or standards batteries.
  • If the Alarm emits a short beep, replace the battery.

Nuisance noise from Smoke Alarms?

If the Smoke Alarm is going off without any smoke, this is generally from the battery requiring replacing. Or the Alarm itself maybe faulty.

  • Replace the battery.
  • Test the Smoke Alarm.
  • If faulty, have the Smoke Alarm replaced with a compliant one.

Do not lose sight of the fact that Smoke Alarms are fitted to alert you of smoke and fire. This can potentially save your life.

Security, fire safety & obstructions.

Be mindful that if Smoke Alarms alert you of a fire and the house is so secure that you cannot escape a fire, this could cost lives!

  • Make sure all security screens to windows and doors can be easily opened by a child from the inside.
  • Dead bolted doors and windows can also be easily opened by a child from the inside. .
  • There is no furniture or strored items obstructing your fire escape path.

Other things to consider to ensure your safety:

  • Fire blanket.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Fire exit plan.

QFES Safety information on extinguishers

Fire escape plan:

It is extremely important to discuss with your family and inhabitants of your house a method of fire escape and devisea plan. The following links are likely to assist you.

QFES Fire escape plan

Further resources:

For the latest information regarding current regulations on smoke alarms refer to the following useful links:

QFES Smoke alarms resource library

QFES Community safety regarding smoke alarms

Safehome:

Qld Government Emergency safehome-booking

For independent Building Inspections Brisbane in all suburbs, Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service. qbis.com.au