Your Home

The Wambo Combo – protecting your family and home

The ‘Wambo Combo’ fire protection package for your home includes:

  • Interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms in all bedrooms (and hallways connecting bedrooms to the rest of your home)
  • An ‘ABE’ type fire extinguisher used for different classes of fire, including:
    • A: combustible materials such as wood, paper, or fabric
    • B: flammable liquids such as petrol, turpentine, or paint
    • E: electrical equipment such as computers, heaters, or generators
  • A fire blanket to smother ‘F’ class fires:
    • Typically cooking oils and fats
      • Can also be wrapped around a person to smother flames

“As an electrician and fire protection technician, my own family home follows world’s best practice when it comes to fire risk. Too many people underestimate the terrible speed and ferocity of fire, and the consequences of that lack of understanding can be devastating”

Damian Leahy

The new laws and current laws regarding smoke alarms in your home – and key dates

There’s a little bit to get your head around here, but we’ve tried to make it as simple as possible:

From 1 January 2017, if you are intending to build a house (or ‘substantially renovate’ an existing dwelling), you will need to install interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms in line with AS ‍3786-2014. These alarms will need to be hardwired to the mains power supply with a secondary power source (i.e. battery) (see further details on alarm placement requirements below)

If you are selling your home after 1 January 2022, you will need to install interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms (AS ‍3786-2014) before the sale, then lodge a Form 24 with the Queensland Land Registry Office stating that the requirements of the smoke alarm legislation (from 1 January 2017) have been met

If you intend to lease your property after 1 January 2022 (or renew a lease), you will need to install interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms (AS ‍3786-2014)

If your home was built before 1 January 2017, you will have until 1 January 2027 to install interconnected photoelectric alarms (AS ‍3786-2014). If you intend to renovate, sell, or lease, then the earlier date of 1 January 2022 will apply. In any case, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service recommend installing interconnected photoelectric alarms as soon as is practically possible.


Interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms – placement and improved coverage

Learnings from past fires have resulted in the mandating of more comprehensive coverage of the home than what you may have previously experienced. The new laws require that interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms be installed on each storey:

  • 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 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

Interconnected and photoelectrical is a must

  • Photoelectric alarms must comply with AS ‍3786-2014 (and must not also contain an ionization sensor)
  • Interconnected means that when one smoke alarm is activated, all other smoke alarms throughout the property are activated at the same time (for instance, if an alarm activates in a child’s bedroom, you will want to hear it immediately in your bedroom)

Hardwired (with backup) or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery?
The law states that interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms must be hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery. While a non-removable battery will satisfy the minimum standard for compliance, we recommend that wherever possible your interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms be hardwired to the mains power supply with a secondary power source (i.e. battery). The main reason is the backup provided, and this secondary level of protection is also consistent with laws pertaining to dwellings built (or substantially renovated) from 1 January 2017.


Interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms in every bedroom, and hallways connecting bedrooms to exits.

“I’ve seen enough fires over the years to know that they could have been contained or put out earlier if the right alarm systems and first attack equipment was in place.”

Damian Leahy



Sources: (1) Fire and Emergency Services (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Amendment Bill 2016, (2) Building Fire Safety (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Legislation Amendment Regulation 2016, (3) National Construction Code 2016, (4) Australian Standard (AS) ‍3786-2014, (5) Land Title Act 1994