Only working smoke alarms save lives.
Fires are fast. A small fire can spread to an entire room in minutes.
Without a smoke alarm a fire is more likely to damage or destroy your property. It is also more likely to cause serious injury or death.
When you are asleep you lose your sense of smell. A working smoke alarm will wake you if there is smoke.
You can learn more through our smoke alarms brochure. Copies of this brochure in 21 languages other than English are available in the 'resources in languages other than English' tab.
All Victorian residential properties must have smoke alarms on every level. This includes all houses, units, flats and townhouses. Smoke alarms must meet Australian standard: AS 3786.
For the best protection, install interconnected smoke alarms in every sleeping area and living room. If one smoke alarm activates, all alarms will sound.
Install smoke alarms with a 10 year-long-life battery. If you have a smoke alarm with a 9-volt battery, replace the battery every year.
If your smoke alarm emits a single, occasional beep, you need to change the battery, or the smoke alarm may be faulty and you need to replace it.
Property type Minimum smoke alarm requirement Residential home constructed before 1 August 1997 Stand-alone nine volt battery powered smoke alarms installed. Residential home constructed, largely renovated, or extended after 1 August 1997 Hard wired smoke alarms that are connected to 240 volt mains power and have a back-up battery. Residential home constructed, largely renovated, or extended after 1 May 2014 Interconnected, hard wired smoke alarms that are connected to 240 volt mains power and have a back-up battery.
There is no point having a smoke alarm if it does not work.
Action When How TEST your smoke alarm batteries Every month Press and hold the test button until the smoke alarm beeps three times. CLEAN your smoke alarms Every year (minimum) Dust, vacuum or gently wipe around the cover to clean it so it will sound if there is smoke. REPLACE your 9 volt smoke alarm batteries* Every year *This advice is not relevant if you have a 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm. REPLACE all smoke alarm units Every ten years
It is best to replace with hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms.Otherwise, replace it with a unit that has a tamper-proof chamber and 10-year lithium battery.
There are smoke alarms for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These smoke alarms alert people in different ways.
Some have vibrating pads, strobe lights, or emit different sounds. Each alarm should have at least two sensory alert types.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing should have these smoke alarms in their home.
Connect smoke alarms in the homes of older people, or people with disability to a personal alarm system.
This will alert their personal alarm monitoring company, who can follow pre-arranged procedures.
Under Victorian law and guidelines:
WHO RESPONSIBILITY Landlords/agents
Must fit smoke alarms in rented properties1
Must ensure that the rented premises are maintained in good repair2Clean smoke alarms and replace batteries each year3
Test smoke alarms monthly3
Reviewed 18 June 2021