Changes to Emergency Services Act to improve protection against house fires

Recent reforms to the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 will improve personal safety in domestic dwellings by imposing strict requirements for the installation of smoke alarms.

The decision to pass the legislation sought to prevent the recurrence of fire incidents like the 2011 Slacks Creek house fire which claimed the lives of 11 people.

Effective on 1 January 2017, the Fire and Emergency Services (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Amendment Act 2016 requires that every Queensland residence be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms. Further, the smoke alarms are required to be interconnected in all bedrooms as well as hallways of residences.

“By having alarms interconnected, it won’t matter which part of a house a fire might start in, the alarm closest to you will sound and if you are asleep, an alarm will sound in your room, even if the area is closed off to the rest of the house,” said Fire and Emergency Services Minister Bill Byrne.

“Research shows that photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms are the most effective on the market for alerting people to fires early,” Byrne stated further.

The legislation provides the public a 10-year phased rollout plan to allow enough time to make changes in accordance to this legislation. Although residents may have up to 10 years to comply with the legislation, Minister Byrne urges everyone to take action to update their alarm system as soon as possible.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has a Safehome program where Queenslanders can arrange visits from local firefighters to advise them of the best location for smoke alarms and suggest fire safety initiatives. To request a Safehome visit call 13QGOV or click here.

If you require any more information on the changes of this legislation, feel free to contact our office on 1300 HATZIS (1300 428 947) or email