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Photoelectric Smoke Alarms Save Lives


A report based on research by Fire and Rescue and the CSIRO into the effectiveness of photoelectric smoke alarms showed stronger measures were needed to give residents time to escape.

Did you know that 78% of house fire deaths are between midnight and 8.00am?

Did you know that 16 per cent of all fires occur in the home and these incidents account for 95 per cent of all fire-related deaths?

The research found that death toll could be reduced by up to 50 per cent if working smoke alarms were installed.

The interconnection of multiple alarms ensures that if one alarm detects smoke, all other alarms will activate to sound a warning which has proven most effective in saving lives.

From January 1 2017 new laws regarding the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms in all Queensland homes came into effect.

You will be looking at a $1000 bill to fit out a four-bedroom home under new smoke alarm laws.

Brisbane Electrician Andrew Zillman from Zillman Electrical said it would cost between $100 to $200 for each alarm, depending on the brand you choose, which will be required in each bedroom, each hallway outside bedrooms and other parts of the home.

“A typical Qld dwelling currently requires one or two smoke alarm, but with the Qld new regulations and depending on how many bedrooms and levels the dwelling has, it’s likely you this amount will be at least trippled”.

“For a four-bedroom home, it’s likely you require 6 smoke alarms which can cost between $800 to $1400, depending on the brand you just choose and the installation method.”

The shift to the interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms was legislated after the tragic Slacks Creek fire in Logan claimed 11 lives, in August 2011.

With 1908 residential fires every in Queensland alone, local firefighters are pleased to see this legislation roll out.

“The main purpose of this is to get people out before the fire takes hold and it’s too late”, said Mr Zillman.

“It’s something that we have promoted for a while now, because it sets a better standard for fire safety, no matter what room you are in you’ll hear the alarms.

Hard-wired photoelectric alarms need to be installed by an electrician.

“From the first of January, 2017 the legislation was applied to all new homes, if you are replacing existing smoke alarms, renovating or building a new home.”

According to QFES, the hard-wired smoke alarms must be connected to the home’s 240V mains power supply or have a 10 year non-removable lithium battery.  Existing hardwired smoke alarms must be replaced with a hardwired smoke alarms.

With the legislation rolling out over the next 10 years, all owner occupied homes will be required to have photoelectric smoke alarms installed by 2027.

For more information, click here 


FROM JANUARY 1, 2022 interconnected, photoelectric alarms will be required to be installed in homes that are leased or sold.

The new laws are part of the State Government’s response to a coroner’s report into a fatal house fire at Slacks Creek in 2011.

From 1st January, 2017 smoke alarms installed in newly built or significantly renovated homes must be:

. Photoelectric type only;

. Hard wired to the electricity supply;

. Interconnected to every other smoke alarm;

. Installed in each bedroom;

. Installed in hallways serving bedrooms; and

. Installed in the exit path of every storey not containing bedrooms.

You can call 1800 LIVE SAFE (1800 54 372) to get your home or investment property compliant to the new Queensland smoke alarm laws or visit

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