New Legislation for smoke alarm compliance will come into effect on the 1st January 2022. Some properties may already be compliant to the new legislation; however, several factors need to be considered to understand the current property status, like current smoke alarm configuration and the age of the property.
Possible Upgrade Scenarios
Rental properties will need to be upgraded before the 1st January 2022 and this can be a daunting task across the rental portfolio managed by your Agency. Some considerations of when appropriate times for the upgrade of each property might be:
Major Renovation: Any major renovation that requires building permits means the new standards could be met as part of that project. Your local building permits staff or a professional inspector can advise you on what qualifies as "major renovation."
Older Smoke Alarms: If your smoke alarms are older than 10 years, or if they are ionisation, they are required to be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms that meet the new compliance standards by the 1st of January 2022. The manufacturing date should be stamped on the back of the smoke alarm.
Faulty Smoke Alarms: Any non-working smoke alarms discovered by landlords or tenants must be replaced with photoelectric alarms immediately.
Property Sales: When selling a rental property, you must replace smoke alarms that are older than 10 years and smoke alarms that do not work. Existing hardwired alarms that need replacement must be replaced with hardwired photoelectric alarms. Property sellers also must file a Form 24 to state the requirements have been met.
Lease Renewal: Though lease renewal does not automatically trigger the need for compliance, it might be a prudent time to consider if it’s a good time to upgrade to 2022 compliance.
Basics of Smoke Alarm Compliance
You can read more about the specifics of compliance with the new Queensland smoke alarm legislation in other blog posts, but the basics include:
All smoke alarms must be photoelectric alarms, also known as optical or photo-optical. These must replace ionisation sensor alarms.
Smoke alarms should be either hardwired, with a battery backup, or have a 10-year lithium non-removable battery.
All smoke alarms in a residence must be interconnected so if one alarm sounds, all alarms sound. This can be wire interconnected or connected through radio frequency.
Smoke alarms must be located in each bedroom, in any hallway leading to bedrooms, outside bedrooms not connected by a hallway and on each storey of the residence along the most-likely escape route, whether there are bedrooms or not in the property.
More details about where and how smoke alarms must be installed are outlined in the legislation.
Landlords and tenants will have obligations to continue compliance with the Queensland smoke alarm regulations:
The landlord/lessor must clean and test each smoke alarm within 30 days before moving a new tenant into a residence. Any non-working alarms or alarms older than 10 years old must be replaced.
Smoke alarm professionals can be used to conduct an annual cleaning and testing of all smoke alarms. These companies will provide a "certificate of compliance" for the property.
Don’t be overwhelmed with 2022
Ensuring rental properties in the portfolio are compliant with the new Queensland smoke alarm legislation can be overwhelming for both your Agency and your Landlord. However, the team at Smoke Alarms Australia can assist in managing these projects advising the best course of action for your Agency.
Contact Smoke Alarms Australia to learn how to easy it is to upgrade your portfolio to 2022.