Smoke alarms

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.