Alternative Compliance for Enrolled Properties in Queensland
We are now well and truly passed the 2022 commencement date of Queensland’s new smoke alarm legislation and most rental properties have been upgraded to the new requirements.
As Smoke Alarm Solutions is now carrying out a maintenance inspection at many properties which were upgraded by a third party for the first time, we are noticing an increasing number of situations where smoke alarms are installed in positions which are slightly outside of required locations.
Thankfully, Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 addresses this particular issue and specifically mentions instances where alternative compliance is appropriate.
If our field team discover smoke alarms which fall into this category on our visit, we will note this on our Compliance Report therefore it is prudent for property managers to thoroughly understand this section of the legislation so they can advise their clients if asked for further elaboration.
Under section 104RBB(2) of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990, alternative compliance is acceptable if it is unreasonable or impractical for an owner of a domestic dwelling to relocate smoke alarms to positions required under a smoke alarm requirement provision. Furthermore, for this section to apply, the smoke alarm in question must meet all other requirements of the 2022 Queensland legislation and operate as intended, which is to provide occupants with adequate warning of fire.
Examples of these very specific scenarios include where hard-wired smoke alarms are installed in likely asbestos containing material or concrete ceilings, or there is other infrastructure which prevents cable relocation. Additionally, in some instances where hard-wired smoke alarms are located slightly too close to light fittings or fans, section 104RBB(2) may be applicable.
It is important to note, Smoke Alarm Solutions will always act with client safety as our number one priority, so if we discover a smoke alarm in a position which does not provide adequate warning of fire, section 104RBB(2) will not be applied. In this instance, we will advise the property manager or landlord that the smoke alarm must be relocated or an additional smoke alarm must be installed in a suitable location to comply.
Occupant safety should always be of paramount importance and this clause should not be exploited to avoid an inconvenient installation or rectification.
As the leaders in the industry, our workforce abide by the strict guidelines as set out under new Queensland requirements however section 104RBB(2) will be called upon when appropriate, to ensure landlords aren’t unnecessarily billed again for smoke alarm systems which otherwise operate as intended.
Please feel free to reach out to your local Account Manager if you have any queries about this matter or Queensland legislation in general.
Please find our updated Terms of Service here, with specific reference to clause 8.6 - Alternative Compliance (Enrolled Properties in Queensland).