QBCC advice regarding the location of smoke alarms

Clause 3.7.2.3(a)(i) of the Building Code of Australia (Volume 2) requires smoke alarms to be installed between each part of the dwelling containing bedrooms and the remainder of the dwelling.

Following complaints from smoke alarm inspectors, the QBCC has taken a literal interpretation of the BCA, and therefore where floor plans have bedrooms which open onto another room such as a TV room or family room, a smoke alarm must be located outside of each bedroom door. This will mean that in many cases, additional smoke alarms may need to be installed than was previously allowed.

The previous practice of building certifiers was a pragmatic one, whereby smoke alarms were required in locations where occupants would be adequately alerted ie in proximity to bedroom doors rather than in front of each door.

The HIA is discussing this matter with the State Government. In the meantime, building certifiers are required to comply with the direction of the QBCC.