Ask the RTA

Dec 2016

Does the new smoke alarm legislation apply to caravans, manufactured homes and cabins?

The new smoke alarm legislation which comes into effect on 1 January 2017 applies to cabins, manufactured homes and caravans in some instances.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Services (QFRS) spokesman Paul Murray explained that a cabin used as long term accommodation would have to comply with the new smoke alarm legislation but a cabin used for short term or holiday rental would not need to comply.

"Although caravans are excluded from the legislation, caravans that are no longer able to be moved due to a structural addition or alteration must comply with the new legislation as long as the owner has entered into a site agreement," Mr Murray said.

"The onus is on the owner of the manufactured home, cabin or converted caravan to comply with legislation.

If the dwelling is rented, the onus is on the owner or park manager," he said.

The new legislation requires that new dwellings must be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms which comply with Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014 in all bedrooms and hallways from 1 January 2017 and that all smoke alarms must be interconnected.

For existing dwellings, it will be compulsory to install photoelectric and interconnected smoke alarms from 1 January 2027. However, when replacing smoke alarms in existing dwellings, they must be of a photoelectric type.

Mr Murray said smoke alarms, although not compulsory for caravans and motor homes, were highly recommended due to the relatively confined space and limited escape routes.

"QFRS recommends photoelectric smoke alarms be used as these are less likely to cause a false alarm than ionisation alarms," Mr Murray said.