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Safety switches & smoke alarms – Are you currently complying? By Jacinta Bennett – Property Paralegal

Did you know every householder in QLD and NSW has a legal responsibility to keep their home safe, including the way it uses electricity? Or, if you own or run a business you are responsible for the electrical safety of employees and everyone else on your premises?


In Queensland it is an offence under the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 if a compliant smoke alarm is not installed and under the Electrical safety regulation 2002, all domestic residences constructed since June 1992 must have an approved safety switch installed.

It is the seller’s obligation to notify the buyer, who has entered into a contract, whether compliant smoke alarms and safety switches are installed in the dwelling on the land. This can be disclosed in the electrical safety switch and smoke alarm section in the standard Queensland REIQ Contracts. If the Contract you have entered into is not the REIQ contract, then the seller’s representative will need to either insert a suitable clause in the contract or ensure written disclosure is made some time before the buyer takes possession. If notice is not given then the seller may incur a penalty of $500.00.

If it is noted on the Contract that a safety switch has not been installed then the buyer of the property must, within 3 months after the date of possession, have an approved safety switch installed for the general purpose socket-outlet (power points). Failure to do so may incur a penalty of $1,500.00.


It has been noted by the NSW government that if you haven’t done so already, you should “seriously consider” installing an electrical safety switch. While it is mandatory in QLD it is only a consideration in NSW. In relation to the smoke alarms owners must have smoke alarms installed and it is an offence not to comply, remove or interfere with them.

In NSW a Contract is not binding unless it has the 2005 printed page with the warning of smoke alarms attached.

* If you already have a safety switch it is recommended that you test it every 3 months and if it fails get it checked by a licensed electrician.

* Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and the battery should be replaced annually.

Please contact us on 1800 621 071 if you require any further information in relation to the disclosure required to sell your property.


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Barry van Heerden

Barry van Heerden

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