On 31st August 2016 Queensland Parliament passed new smoke alarm legislation with a view to making Queensland homes the safest in Australia.
The new legislation states that:
· all residential accommodation must be fitted with photoelectric type smoke alarms
· smoke alarms either hard-wired or powered by a 10-year lithium battery
· smoke alarms located
* on each level of living space
* outside each bedroom and
* in every bedroom
* all smoke alarms should be inter- connected
Every home should have a practiced escape plan.
HOW THIS AFFECTS RENTAL PROPERTIES:
Responsibilities of Property Owners/Managers
· install smoke alarms complying with Australian Standard 3786-1993 outside sleeping areas and one on each level of the dwelling
· replace smoke alarms before the end of their service life (smoke alarms are required to have a recommended service life of at least 10 years under normal conditions of use)
test and clean smoke alarms and replace any flat or nearly flat batteries within 30 days of the start or renewal of a tenancy.
Property owners/managers must not remove a smoke alarm, remove the battery (other than to replace it) or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of the alarm (e.g. paint it).
Responsibilities of Tenants
test and clean (by vacuuming or dusting) smoke alarms at least once every 12 months
· replace any flat or nearly flat batteries
· advise the property manager/owner if there is any issue with the alarm (apart from batteries)
allow the property owner/manager right of entry to install smoke alarms.
The tenant must not remove a smoke alarm, remove the battery (other than to replace it) or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of the alarm (e.g. paint it).
Penalties apply to both tenants and property manager and owners for not complying with these requirements.
There is a 10 year phased roll-out of interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms in Queensland that will happen over three specific periods starting from 1 January 2017.
· From 1 January 2017 - in all new dwelling and substantially renovated dwellings (this applies to building application submitted from 1 January 2017)
· From 1 January 2022—in all domestic dwellings leased and sold
· From 1 January 2027—in all other domestic dwellings