Smoke alarms are compulsory and must be installed in every residential building and be located in a position designed to wake sleeping occupants.
Residential buildings include:
- detached houses, row houses, town houses, terrace houses or villa units
- some boarding houses, guest houses or hostels
- buildings containing sole-occupancy units (e.g. apartments, blocks of flats)
- backpacker accommodation, residential parts of hotels or motels, residential parts of schools, accommodation for the aged, disabled or children
- dwellings in non-residential buildings (e.g. houses attached to shops).
Smoke alarms must be connected (hard wired) to a building's consumer mains power source as well as having a battery back-up, unless the building was built before 1 August 1997. In this instance battery only operated smoke alarms are permitted.
Smoke alarms help reduce fire fatalities and injuries when properly fitted, regularly tested and adequately maintained.