Interconnected Smoke Alarms Mandatory for New Builds and Renovations

February 2024

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

From November of this year, all new builds and major renovations will be required to have interconnected smoke alarms. Property investors looking to purchase new builds or significantly renovate their properties should be aware of the Building Code change. 

What are Interconnected Smoke Alarms? 

Interconnected smoke alarms are devices that simultaneously activate when a single alarm senses fire, despite the alarms being in separate rooms of the home.  The smoke detectors need to be in every new bedroom and living space. This additional safety measure ensures that everyone in the house will hear the alarm, regardless of their location or whether they are asleep. 

How Effective are Interconnected Smoke Alarms? 

Interconnected smoke alarms are considerably more effective, alerting occupants to fire faster and providing more time to escape. They are especially important in homes with multiple floors or long hallways. 

How are the Alarms Installed? 

For new builds, a hard-wired interconnected system can be installed while the house is being wired. 

For renovations, a battery-operated, wireless system can be installed without necessitating rewiring of the home.

When is the Transition Period? 

The building industry is currently in a 12-month transition phase moving towards the new rules for smoke alarms. From November, previously acceptable systems will no longer be deemed to comply with the code for new builds and major renovations. 

What are the Rules around Smoke Alarms for Existing Properties? 

For existing rental properties, new smoke alarms must be photoelectric and have a long battery life of at least 10 years, or be hard-wired into a power source. The detectors must meet international standards and be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Existing (already installed) older-style alarms in good condition do not need to be replaced immediately, but when due for replacement they must be replaced with photoelectric detectors. 

Find out more: What are the Rules for Smoke Alarms in Rental Properties? 

Contact Crockers

For any further advice on any of your property management needs? Contact the helpful Crockers Property Management team at or call for a chat on 09 623 5952. 

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