One in four lack a smoke alarm: fire experts call for action in NSW homes

There are growing calls from experts to change laws in NSW to ensure homes are fully equipped with smoke alarms, after a  Fire and Rescue NSW report showed one in four homes don’t have a working device.

It’s a figure that lags behind Queensland, which is considered to have best practice in Australia, where 85 per cent of homes have operational alarms. 

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You’re safer, by acting sooner

Queensland’s largest smoke alarm compliance provider has warned against waiting until the eleventh hour to adhere to upcoming legislation changes.

The overhaul of Queensland’s smoke alarm legislation comes into effect 1 January 2022 and will impact every one of the state’s estimated 550,000 rental properties.

Agents and landlords who do not comply could face serious consequences, including hefty fines and possible jail time.

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New Smoke Alarm Legislation Passed in Queensland

Legislation was passed in Queensland Parliament on the 31st of August, 2016, meaning households in the “Sunshine State” are set to become the most fire safe in the nation. This legislation has eventuated as a result of the recommendations handed down following the tragic 2011 Slacks Creek house fire. A move that is welcomed by Smoke Alarm Solutions.

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More than just changing the battery and pushing the test button

April Fools Day is commonly known as the day each year when many Australians change their smoke alarm batteries. For a landlord or property owner, smoke alarm compliance is much more than just changing a battery and testing an alarm. By simply pushing the test button of an alarm, you are not meeting the required duty of care. It is best practice to ensure:

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Interconnected alarms now mandatory

A recent review of the current minimum standards set out within a section of the Building Code of Australia has led to the introduction of an additional requirement when installing smoke alarms, in an attempt to increase the chances of fire detection.

As of May 1, 2014, a necessity exists for owners to interconnect smoke alarms in all new class 1 buildings to increase awareness of smoke in other parts of the dwelling, which is especially important for vulnerable groups including children who are less likely to wake to a sounding smoke alarm. This is of particular importance when parents are sleeping on another level to their child or in a separate area of the home which could be away from the fire ignition point.

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Do you know the difference between Ionisation and Photoelectric Smoke Alarms?

There are two types of smoke alarms - Photoelectric (also known as optical) and Ionisation. The alarms work in different ways to detect smoke. Both types are capable of meeting Australian Standard AS3786:2015 and both types of alarms can be legally purchased and used in Australia. Regardless of this, every State Fire Authority in Australia recommends the use of photoelectric smoke alarms, not ionisation smoke alarms.

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Smoke Alarm Solutions is Australia's leading provider
of smoke alarm services to the real estate industry.