Brand EditorialEPMEPM: Best Practice & Legislation

Smoke alarms: What you need to know

Smoke Alarms Australia has been working for over 14 years, assisting Agents to address state legislation compliance with their landlords.

A smoke alarm provides the best opportunity to detect fire, protect investments and save lives.  Regular smoke alarm maintenance is required to make sure all alarms are functioning optimally.


There are many types of smoke alarms, and the basic terminology you need to know is photoelectric or ionisation, hard-wired, radio frequency or battery operated. Most Fire Services recommend photoelectric alarms as they are quicker to detect smoke and don’t function using small amounts of radiation. Read our news piece explaining smoke alarm types.

Hard-wired alarms are wired to the properties electrical system and have a battery back up in case of a service outage. Radiofrequency alarms interconnect through a radio signal and have a 10-year lithium battery as back up. Battery-based alarms while still in use are not to be installed in any property under 2022 legislation in Queensland.


Bugs and dust are a significant concern for ongoing smoke alarm maintenance. These contaminants interfere with correct smoke alarm function and increase the risk of the smoke alarm not responding in an incident.  Regular Smoke alarm maintenance is required to provide quality detection.

The correct servicing of smoke alarms is important and contributes to the longevity of the device. A push button test on the alarm only tests that the alarm has connected power. Testing with artificial smoke, cleaning the alarms, checking alarm positioning and expiry dates is an integral part of the testing process.

Queensland has endured some of the worst house fires in history with multiple loss of life over the years. The legislation in Queensland was recently changed to help prevent future home fire disasters. From 1st January 2022, all smoke alarms in rental properties must be photoelectric and interconnected, compliant with AS3786:2014, installed on each storey of the property, in all bedrooms and hallways, powered by mains power or non-removable 10-year lithium battery.

For more information on how to make your properties compliant in the lead up to 2022 visit: 

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