Last year the Queensland government passed a legislation which stated by 2022 that every home leased or sold needs to replace it’s current smoke alarms with interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms.
This is the timeline for the new legislation:
From 1st January 2017: dwellings and substantially renovated dwellings will need to be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms (this applies to building applications submitted from 1 January 2017).
From 1st January 2022: in all domestic dwellings leased and sold.
From 1st January 2027: in all other domestic dwellings.
So, what are photoelectric smoke alarms?
These new smoke alarms are an improvement on older alarm systems because they rely on a light source to send the impulse that there’s a fire. The alarm will only go off if there is sufficient smoke to have an impact on the chamber that the light is shining into. This then refracts the beam of light towards a light receptor, causing the alarm go off. The reliance on the beam of light means that the smoke detector is far less likely to go off for minor things, such as burnt toast! The other major improvement is that when one of the alarms goes off it triggers the others, meaning that you will always hear the alarm wherever you are in the house.
This is something that’s worth looking into as a property buyer, as the new alarms will need to be fitted at some time over the next couple of years. So be sure to ask the question and allow new smoke alarm installation in your budget.
If you want to make sure the rest of the property complies with current building standards and legislation, remember to book in a licensed building inspector to inspect the property so they can outline any relevant issues to you.