Over the years it’s common to see changes to legislation coming off the back of a major incident or tragic event.  Governments are renowned for using tragedies as a trigger for law changes or to respond, albeit belatedly, to public pressure on a particular issue.  In 2011, one such event triggered a major shift in legislation involving smoke alarms after the death of seven people in a house fire at Slacks Creek in Brisbane’s south.  New legislation that applied from 2017 made smoke alarms mandatory.  Whilst allowing for a phased-in approach, FULL compliance then becomes compulsory in 2027.

There are a few deadlines along the way towards full implementation of the new laws so let’s explore them so you can plan any necessary upgrades to your home or investment property. 

  1. Since 1 Jan 2017 the new laws have applied to all NEW dwellings and substantially renovated dwellings.
  2. The next trigger date occurs on 1 Jan 2022 when all domestic dwellings (leased or sold) must be compliant.
  3. Compliance with the smoke alarm laws requires Queensland dwellings to have interconnected photo-electric smoke alarms:
    1. in all bedrooms,
    2. in hallways that connect bedrooms with the rest of the dwelling, and on every level.

In a recent e-newsletter published by McAdam & Turnbull Realty we quoted some sobering statistics from research conducted by Australian company Smoke Alarm Solutions that were published on the industry leading website  The statistics include a warning that right now 799 properties PER DAY in Queensland would need to be upgraded to ensure all rentals in Qld met the 2022 deadline. Note the statistics only refer to rental properties.  Add in owner occupied dwellings and it becomes a very striking statistic!

The facts are that smoke alarms save lives and give people some precious extra seconds to escape a burning house.  Their value can’t be overstated and their ability to prevent tragedy is clear.  In recent years the cost of interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms has been a deterrent for many, and, as is the case with most technology the prices have been coming down as they’ve became more mainstream and in demand. 

With the 2022 deadline fast approaching another issue to consider is installation timeframes.  Increasing demand is seeing licenced electricians across the Toowoomba Region starting to quote extended waiting times. 

The time is now right with our property management team recommending all property owners implement plans to upgrade of their rental properties with compliant smoke alarm systems as soon as possible.  The McAdam & Turnbull property management team led by Bronwyn Evans are currently supporting landlords to develop and implement upgrade plans and are coordinating the relevant trade services on behalf of clients.  It’s just part of the McAdam & Turnbull service.

McAdam & Turnbull Realty recently held a seminar for property owners on the new smoke alarm laws and the available device technology.  With speakers from the Qld Fire and Emergency Service, Smoke Alarm Solutions, and our own property management team, our attendees left the presentations with a clear understanding of the new regulatory regime and some effective strategies for getting compliant as quickly as possible.  If you’d like to know more we recommend checking out the video of our seminar on youtube at

This blog is intended to give you general information about the new smoke alarm laws in Queensland and the forthcoming deadlines.  It is not intended to be a comprehensive analysis of the the laws.  The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service has a great website with comprehensive and easy to read information on the laws and how they apply to owner occupiers, investors and tenants.  Check out

McAdam & Turnbull Realty are your local real estate professionals and property management specialists in Toowoomba and nearby surrounds.  You can follow our Principal and agent Lachlan Evans at or view our current rental and sale listings at and LIKE us on Facebook @  

This publication covers real estate, property market, finance and legal related issues in a general way. It is intended for general information purposes only and should not be regarded as professional finance or legal advice. McAdam & Turnbull Realty recommends that professional legal and/or finance advice should be obtained before taking any action on the basis of the general information presented in this publication.

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