Smoke alarms not to be located in dead air space
Clause 188.8.131.52 – Installation of smoke alarms is a new clause that has been introduced to the residential Fire Safety provisions of the 2019 edition of the Building Code of Australia (BCA 2019), Volume Two of the National Construction Code.
Clause 184.108.40.206 Installation of smoke alarms
Smoke alarms required by 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 must be installed on or near the ceiling, in accordance with the following:
(a) Where a smoke alarm is located on the ceiling it must be—
(i) a minimum of 300 mm away from the corner junction of the wall and ceiling; and
(ii) between 500 mm and 1500 mm away from the high point and apexes of the ceiling, if the room has a sloping ceiling.
(b) Where (a) is not possible, the smoke alarm may be installed on the wall, and located a minimum of 300 mm and a maximum of 500 mm off the ceiling at the junction with the wall.
This diagram from the explanatory information for clause 22.214.171.124 in BCA 2019 illustrates the requirements.
The requirements in clause 126.96.36.199 were previously provided as explanatory information in previous editions of the BCA and are now mandatory in the adoption of BCA 2019 when following the deemed to satisfy provisions.
Replacing smoke alarms in existing dwellings subject to sale, rent and hire
Existing compliant smoke alarms in dwellings subject to sale, transfer of ownership, rent and hire do not need to retrospectively comply with Clause 188.8.131.52 even if they are not located in accordance with the new requirements. However, new replacement smoke alarms will need to comply with Regulation 60(2) of the Building Regulations 2012 including the most up to date deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the BCA (including Clause 184.108.40.206) when next installed where the existing compliant smoke alarm exceeds 10 years or is no longer in working order.
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