Interconnection Fact Sheet

The Building Code of Australia requires multiple alarms in a property to be interconnected in certain circumstances. Victorian, New South Wales and South Australian legislation require adherence for properties built since May 2014.


What are interconnected smoke alarms?

Interconnected smoke alarms are designed to communicate with each other and sound in unison when one alarm detects smoke. Essential to fire safety is early detection. Interconnected alarms are the best way to provide early warning for occupants to escape.

Fire can engulf a modern home in just a few minutes. With interconnected alarms, occupants who may otherwise be out of audible range of the detecting alarm will be alerted early enough to act, increasing survivability in a house fire by more than 50%.

Why was my property previously marked as compliant?
We did a review of the legislation and put new processes in place to ensure that interconnection checks are completed and property build dates are checked. When we find multiple non-interconnected smoke alarms and are confident of the property's build date being post 1 May 2014, we will flag the property as ‘non-compliant’ and issue a quote to upgrade the alarms to compliant, interconnected alarms.
How do we check the property build date?
We have subscribed to RP Data from Core Logic which provides an accurate build date for ~80% of Australian properties. By sourcing this information from RP Data, we have largely removed the need for time-consuming back-and-forth questions for property managers and/or owners.

In the 20% of cases where RP Data can’t tell us the build date confidently, and where there are multiple alarms that are not interconnected, following our smoke alarm safety check, we will mark the property “Compliant*” with a rider that if the property manager is aware of the build date being 1 May 2014 or after that an upgrade to interconnection is required.
Legislation references

¹ In Victoria, the Building Act 1993 (Vic) and the Building Regulations 2018 (Vic) enshrine the NCC via Volumes 1 and 2 of the Building Code of Australia (“BCA”). The BCA Volume 2 2014 applies to the construction of all residential buildings in Victoria and is administered and enforced by local councils. The Building Regulations 2018 (Vic), Part 9, Clause 145, states that interconnected smoke alarms need to be installed in accordance with the BCA Volume 2 2014 key build date requirement, which is a reference to 1 May, 2014.

² In NSW, it is the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) ("EPA Act”) that requires adherence to the BCA Volume 2 2014. Both the EPA Act (s 6.10) and the associated Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Regulation 2021 (r 19, r 22(1)(b), r 22(1)(c)) (“EPA Regulation”) require that properties comply with the BCA at the time the application for the construction certificate was made.

³ In South Australia, it is the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (SA) (“PDI Act”) that requires adherence to the BCA. Associated with the PDI Act, the Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) Regulations 2017 (SA) (“PDI Regulations”) deals with fire safety requirements (r 95). The PDI Regulations (r, 95 (2), r 95(3)), state that requirements for smoke alarm installations in Class 1 and 2 Buildings are subject to any other requirement in the BCA.

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