By Natalie South.

By January 2027 Queensland households will be the safest in Australia in terms of fire safety. This huge initiative led by the Queensland Government will be completed 21 years after the tragic loss of a large family in Brisbane due to a massive house fire and a faulty smoke alarm.

As a result of the devastating tragedy that claimed the lives of 11 people, a 10-year phased rollout of a new smoke alarm legislation started on 1 January 2017.

What does this mean if you are a landlord?

  • Rental properties have the first deadline for compliance and need to be fitted with new interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms by 1 January 2022.
  • Smoke alarms need to be in every bedroom and in all hallways/areas that connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling.
  • These 240-volt smoke alarms are connected to the electricity supply of the property or a 10-year lithium battery and must, by law, be connected and installed by a licensed electrician.

What are photoelectric smoke alarms?
According to research and extensive testing scenarios, photoelectric smoke alarms have been deemed the most effective alarm system across a wider range of home fires. They respond to a wide range of fires but are particularly responsive to smouldering fires and the dense smoke given off by foam-filled furnishings or overheated PVC wiring. The difference? These alarms – also known as optical or photo-optical alarms, visually detect smoke and particles of combustion.

Why interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms?
According to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, people may have as little as 15 seconds to escape from a house fire. If a fire starts while people are sleeping, the toxic fumes can overcome them as the body does not register the smell of smoke while asleep. The photoelectric smoke alarms detect fire and smoke early and will alert people early, to act or escape. The interconnectedness of these alarms will alert people anywhere in the house no matter where the fire started or where it was first detected.

The Harcourts Solutions rental team manage over 1100 rental properties and therefore have a wealth of experience with certified household service providers. For more information on getting your rental home fire safe and compliant before the cut-off, please contact Harcourts Solutions today!