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Smoke alarm installation project

From 1 January 2017, changes were made to the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 to make Queensland households safest in Australia in relation to fire safety. The 10-year phased roll-out of interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms will happen over 3 phases starting from 1 January 2017.

The new legislation will require all residential dwellings to have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms installed in every bedroom, in connecting hallways and on each storey.

When do you need to have the alarms installed?

  • From 1 January 2017 all new dwellings and substantially renovated dwellings must be compliant.
  • By 1 January 2022 all existing government owned dwellings must be compliant.
  • By 1 January 2027 all private dwellings must be compliant.

How will we support you?

The Queensland Government – through the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (CSYW) and the Department of Housing and Public Works (HPW) – will work together to supply and install smoke alarms into those dwellings that are owned by eligible carers and are being used to provide care to children and young people in care arrangements.

If you are an approved foster or kinship carer providing full-time or respite care, and you own your own dwelling, you may be eligible for a compliant smoke alarm system in your dwelling at no cost.

If you are renting, the owner of the dwelling is responsible for meeting compliance requirements. If you have questions, you may wish to contact your real estate agent or the property owner.

When will the installation commence?

HPW will manage the supply and installation of smoke alarms for eligible carers across Queensland. The schedule for works commenced in January 2018 and will finish in December 2021.

What do you need to do?

  1. Complete the online questionnaire.
  2. Attach a scanned copy of the front page of your council rates notice.
  3. Attach a scanned copy of your carer certificate of approval.
  4. Submit the completed questionnaire with the above attachments.

Make sure to provide your current contact details, as the qualified electrician must be able to contact you to arrange times to conduct a safety check of your home before installing the new smoke alarms. If you cannot be contacted, we cannot install the smoke alarms.

What happens if you are deemed eligible?

Your application will progress from CSYW to HPW who will coordinate the electricians’ installation of the smoke alarms. As installation of the smoke alarms is a statewide initiative being rolled out region by region over a number of months, you will be contacted by an electrician when your area is due for installation work.

What should you do if your personal details change?

Once you have submitted your application, if any of your details contained in the questionnaire change, please let us know by emailing smokeaip@communities.qld.gov.au. If your address has changed you will need to re-submit your application ticking the ‘revised application’ box. (Note: you would need to re-attach your certificate of approval to be a carer and rates notice.)

What will happen before the smoke alarms are installed?

Before commencing the installation, a licensed electrician will conduct an electrical safety inspection of the dwelling to determine if there are any safety issues that could affect the installation. These safety issues may include:

  • unapproved foil insulation in ceiling spaces
  • friable or damaged asbestos ceiling linings
  • faulty or unsafe switchboards and meter boxes
  • residual current devices not installed on all final sub-circuits
  • non-compliant, exposed, damaged wiring and/or nationally recalled cables
  • unsafe socket outlets, light switches, ceiling fans and/or controls, and
  • earthing issues or faults that prevent the electrical certification by the electrician of smoke alarms under the program of works.

Any identified safety issues are the responsibility of carer property owners to rectify and pay for at your own cost.

Once identified safety issues have been rectified by the property owner, please contact the licensed electrician to make arrangements for the installation of the smoke alarm system.

Light and power to the dwelling will be turned off at the switchboard by the electrician whilst the smoke alarms are being installed.

If any asbestos is identified, the electrician will prepare a Safe Work Method Statement, in accordance with all legislation and codes of practice, before installing the smoke alarm system.

Please note: It is important to note that the Queensland Government will not reimburse carers who choose to supply and install smoke alarms themselves or through their own suppliers or installers.

More information

If you have any questions regarding the questionnaire, or the installation of smoke alarms at your home, please email smokeaip@communities.qld.gov.au.

For further information on the new legislation and impacts to owners, visit the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website.