Where should smoke alarms be installed?

Legislation requires that smoke alarms must be installed in all homes and units in Queensland. At least one working smoke alarm is required on every level of your home even if your home is a rental property, a relocatable home, a caravan, or a campervan.

Smoke Alarms Installed

Smoke alarms are most effective when placed on the ceiling outside the sleeping areas and between the sleeping and living areas. If there is more than one sleeping area (the sleeping areas are separated) more than one smoke alarm is needed.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services' recommends that hardwired or 10-year lithium battery powered photoelectric smoke alarms are fitted:

  • on each level of the home
  • outside each bedroom
  • inside every bedroom

To avoid constant false alarms don't place smoke alarms:

  • in the kitchen or directly outside the kitchen door - cooking steam and smoke can lead to frequent false alarms
  • in the bathroom, or in the hallway directly outside the bathroom door - steam from the shower or bath can trigger the smoke alarm

Smoke alarms are most effective when placed

  • away from dead air space - such as the apex of cathedral ceilings, corner junctions and between exposed joists
  • away from windows, doors, fans or air conditioners (split system) and air conditioning vents (ducted)
  • away from kitchens
  • away from areas with lots of insects
  • more than 1.5 metres away from fluorescent lights - the electrical noise or flicker can affect the smoke alarm

False alarms

False smoke alarms are a nuisance and can often lead to residents tampering, removing or disconnecting smoke alarms temporarily or permanently. If the smoke alarm in your home is constantly going off, contact your electrician to service and possibly install it in a different location.

Remember - Smoke alarms only save lives if they're in the ideal position and they are in good working order.

For more information on the placement of smoke alarms in your home download the QFES smoke alarm brochure here -

QFES Smoke Alarm Brochure (939 KB)

References - https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/communitysafety/home/default.asp, https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/safety/smoke-alarms.html