Many pre-loved homes being sold will, by legislation, require their smoke detectors to be upgraded. And this is the responsibility of the Purchaser.


Many deaths occur as a result of fires in homes that either do not have smoke detectors or where the smoke detector is not located adequately or not hard wired. Too many times we see vision on our night time TV news of just such tragedies. Tragedies that could be avoided.

When conducting a pre-purchase building inspection Don Palmer of Reliable Home Inspections checks whether there are smoke detectors and whether they will provide you the protection you think you will get from the ones installed in the home you are about to purchase.


This smoke detector has not been correctly wired.

This smoke detector has not been correctly wired.


Smoke detectors must be located under clause of the Building Code of Australia between each part of the building containing bedrooms and the remainder of the house. This could mean the house you are purchasing will need more than one detector.

But the vendor will take care of this won’t they. Many people believe this including a handful of real estate agents. Wrong!

Clause 76B (3) of the Development Regulations 2008 reads as follows:

76B—Fire safety requirements—smoke alarms in dwellings
(1) This regulation applies to Class 1 and 2 buildings under the Building Code (whenever constructed).

(2) Subject to any other requirement in the Building Code, 1 or more smoke alarms complying with Australian Standard 3786–1993 (as in force from time to time) must be installed in each dwelling that is, or forms part of, a building to which this regulation applies in locations that will provide reasonable warning to occupants of bedrooms in that dwelling so that they may safely evacuate in the event of fire.
(3) If title of land on which a building to which this regulation applies is situated is transferred, then, within 6 months from the day on which title is transferred, each dwelling that is, or forms part of, the building must have a smoke alarm or smoke alarms in accordance with the requirements of subregulation (2) that are powered through a mains source of electricity (unless the building is not connected to a mains source of electricity) or powered by 10 year life non-replaceable, non-removable permanently connected batteries.

(4) If a smoke alarm or smoke alarms are not installed in a building to which this regulation applies in accordance with the requirements of this regulation, the owner of the building is guilty of an offence.                                                  Maximum penalty: $750.


Of course being caught out be the Government for not having ensured you have the right detector after purchase is not the point is it. Your families life is what is important. Isn’t it.