On 1 January 2017 the Queensland Government announced the State’s most comprehensive smoke alarm legislation, Fire and Emergency Services (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Amendment Act 2016. The new legislation aims to have all dwellings fitted with active photoelectric smoke alarms therefore will impact all property owners and developers at some point.
These changes will see all dwellings fitted with photoelectric alarms by 2027 in an effort to reduce the tragic number of deaths that have occur in Queensland each year.
The legislation does vary depending on the use of the dwelling. For dwellings that are being sold or leased, (albeit a new or lease renewal), they must be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms, if the smoke alarms installed were manufactured more than 10 years ago. In the instance a smoke alarm does not work while being tested during routine inspections then a photoelectric smoke alarm must be installed and comply with the Act. In the instance where new smoke alarms are replacing alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago, the cost of doing so is likely to be treated as a property expense for tax purposes in the event the property is generally income producing and held for investment purposes. Even if considered capital, the cost should likely fall below the $300 asset limit, therefore allowing a 100% write-off in the year of purchase.
For new dwellings or dwelling being substantially renovated smoke alarms must:
- Be photoelectric; and
- not contain an ionisation sensor; and
- Be hardwired to the mains power with a secondary power source (i.e. battery); and
- Be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling.
In addition, smoke alarms must be installed on each storey of the dwelling:
- In each bedroom; and
- In hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling; or
- If there is no hallway, between the bedroom and the other parts of the storey; and
- If there are no bedrooms on a storey at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.
Additional compliance changes will come into effect from 1 January 2022. Further information on the current and future changes can be assess via the QFES website or in a detailed PDF published by QFES here. For additional information about the tax deductibility of costs incurred to comply with these laws please speak with your usual Hanrick Curran adviser.
Please note that this publication is intended to provide a general summary and should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal advice.