Smoke alarm regulations are changing.

The Building Code of Australia has been amended to require interconnected smoke alarms in new dwellings.

In the past, smoke alarms weren’t required to be connected with other smoke alarms in the same dwelling. The new requirement has been introduced to increase the likelihood of a sleeping person becoming aware of smoke and fire danger in another part of the home.

In April, the Building Commissioner announced that a one year transition period will apply in WA, so new properties won’t fall under the new regulations until 1 May 2015.

Interconnected smoke alarms will only be required in properties being constructed, not existing properties.

This new rule will join a host of existing smoke alarm requirements, which include:

  • Smoke alarms must be hard-wired: ie. permanently connected to consumer mains power,
  • Smoke alarms must not be more than 10 years old when the dwelling is transferred or rented, and
  • Smoke alarms must be in working order and in accordance with the Building Code of Australia applicable at the time of installation, which specifies minimum standards and locations for smoke alarms.

If you’re a real estate agent or settlement agent, the change to interconnected smoke alarms will have minimal effect on you, but it’s a useful piece of information to know when dealing with sellers of newly constructed homes.

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