Firefighter Nathan Parks encourages everyone to check their smoke alarms.
Firefighter Nathan Parks encourages everyone to check their smoke alarms. Amy Kadel

New smoke alarm rules: What you need to know

BUNDABERG households will be among the safest in the country after new smoke alarm legislation was passed in Queensland Parliament today.

Member for Bundaberg, Leanne Donaldson, has welcomed the Palaszczuk Government's move to legislate for improved standards in smoke alarms for residential households.

"With more than 150 deaths as a result of house fires in Queensland since 2004, the installation of effective smoke alarms will save lives," Ms Donaldson said.

"We cannot see another tragedy like the 2011 Slacks Creek fire, where 11 people lost their lives. Our Bill implements the Coroner's recommendations as law, to keep Queenslanders safe."

Ms Donaldson said between July 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016, 25 people have died in the Queensland from house fires.

There have been 28 residential structure fires attended by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services officers between August 24, 2011 and December 31, 2015 in the Bundaberg electorate alone.

"The legislation specifies that every Queensland residence will need to be fitted with photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms in all bedrooms, as well as hallways of residences," Ms Donaldson said.

"By having the alarms interconnected, it won't matter which part of a house a fire might start in, the alarm closest to you will sound and if you are asleep, an alarm will sound in your room, even if the area is closed off to the rest of the house.

"I am proud Queensland is now the national leader on this issue, making sure we are doing all we can to keep residents safe."

The proposed changes will be phased in to ease the impact on households and allow time for cultural change.

"A 10-year phased rollout of the legislation will allow ample time for everyone to have their alarms installed correctly," Ms Donaldson said.

"Hard-wired, interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms will require a qualified electrician to conduct the installation and ensure the alarms are working as they should be.

"There is an option to install photoelectric alarms with a 10-year lithium battery that have the capability to achieve interconnectedness wirelessly between alarms. This option may be more suitable for Queenslanders living in remote areas where attendance of an electrician could be difficult."

All houses being built or renovated will need to comply with the smoke alarm legislation upon completion after January 1, 2017.

All houses leased or sold will need to meet compliance within five years and all owner-occupied private dwellings will need to comply with the legislation within 10 years.

Any smoke alarm being replaced after January 1, 2017 must be a photoelectric alarm.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Bill Byrne said although some residents would have up to 10 years to install the alarms, everyone should take action to update their alarm system as soon as possible.

"This technology is proven to save lives and the sooner it is in every Queensland home, the safer we'll be," he said.

QFES has a free Safehome program where Queenslanders can request a visit from local firefighters who will advise them of the best locations for smoke alarms and suggest other fire safety initiatives around the home.

To request a Safehome visit call 13QGOV or visit

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