New interconnection requirement for mains powered smoke alarms

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The Building Commission's Smoke alarm laws fact sheet now provides information on a new interconnection requirement for mains-powered residential smoke alarms.

The new interconnection requirement affects:

  • people involved in transferring ownership of their homes;
  • lessors (landlords) renting or hiring their homes;
  • people involved in the installation of smoke alarms such as electricians and builders;
  • architects, building designers and building surveyors;
  • local governments; and
  • real estate agents and settlement agents.

The Building Regulations 2012 require owners to have compliant smoke alarms installed in dwellings subject to sale, transfer of ownership, rent or hire. The Regulations require the smoke alarms to be in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) applicable at the time of installation of the alarms.

From 1 May 2014, the BCA will require the interconnection of smoke alarms where more than one alarm is required to be installed.

This nationally driven requirement has been introduced to increase the likelihood of sleeping occupants becoming aware of the dangers of smoke in another part of the dwelling.

Owners required to have more than one smoke alarm installed in dwellings subject to sale, transfer of ownership, rent or hire may be affected by this new requirement.

Download a copy of the Smoke alarm laws fact sheet for further details.

Please note: In light of the concerns and the feedback from stakeholders, the WA Building Commission is currently considering whether changes to the existing smoke alarm provisions in the Building Regulations 2012 can be made to simplify the application of the interconnection requirements and exclude existing dwellings from any future requirements to interconnect smoke alarms.

We are in the process of drafting changes to the Building Regulations for other matters, and it is possible that amendments regarding smoke alarms may be incorporated at the same time.  Once the exact nature of the regulatory changes is known, the Building Commission will issue a revised fact sheet.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Building and Energy
Department News
06 Mar 2014

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