Changes to residential smoke alarm standard: Landlord bulletin issue 4 (April 2017)

28 April 2017 

A new Australian Standard applies from 1 May 2017 to new installations of smoke alarms in residential dwellings. Importantly, this includes new smoke alarms installed in dwellings subject to transfer of ownership, lease or hire and replacement alarms in dwellings leased or hired.  This does not trigger a requirement to replace existing compliant alarms.

The Building Commission has released an industry bulletin setting out the requirements for new dwellings and existing dwellings

Smoke alarms are compliant when they:

  • are in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) applicable at the time of the installation of the alarm;   
  • are not more than 10 years old at the time of the transfer of ownership, or making the dwelling available for rent or hire; and
  • are in working order; and are permanently connected to consumer mains power (hard-wired) or if the use of a battery powered smoke alarm has been approved under the Building Regulations 2012, the alarm has a 10-year life battery that cannot be removed.

The new Australian Standard can be identified on smoke alarms by looking for an AS 3786:2014 marking.  The marking supersedes the 1993 AS3786:1993 marking. 

We remind you that a licensed electrician is required to either connect or disconnect a smoke alarm to the mains power supply.  Where the Building Regulations 2012 permit a battery powered smoke alarm to be fitted instead of one connected to mains power, a licensed electrician is not required to fit the battery powered smoke alarm.

Further information about smoke alarms is available from the Building Commission factsheet Smoke alarm laws

If you have further enquiries please contact the Building Commission by email.

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Consumer Protection
Last updated 03 May 2017

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