This information statement has been produced by BSA to provide clarity of BSA licensing issues for installers of smoke alarms.
The Building Code of Australia (“BCA”) makes the installation of smoke alarms mandatory for all new Class 1 buildings. They are also mandatory for sole occupancy units in class 2 & 3 buildings and parts of buildings that are class 4. Clause 188.8.131.52(c) of the BCA requires “smoke alarms must be connected to the consumer mains power where consumer power is supplied to the building”. For a residential building, where the BCA calls up mandatory smoke alarms, an installer must be adequately licensed. If the smoke alarm is installed directly to the main AC power supply i.e. 240volts, under the Electricity Act, a licensed electrician must install it.
Electrical work is exempt building work under the QBSA Act, and specifically the “installation and general repair, by a licensed electrical mechanic, of a fire detection system, alarm system or emergency warning or communication system for a building” is exempt from the QBSA Act. Therefore, if the work is performed by a licensed electrician a BSA licence is not required. Extra low voltage smoke alarm systems are not required to be installed by licensed electricians (however electricians are required to connect the transformers to the mains supply). If the extra low voltage system being installed is mandatory under the BCA, then the contractor will require a BSA Fire Detection Systems licence.
Similarly, for existing residences (Class 1, 2, 3 or class 4 part) that were constructed prior to implementation of smoke alarm legislation (BCA 1 July 1997), basic ‘off-the-shelf battery powered’ type smoke alarms can be installed, maintained and tested without the need for a licence. If they are installed directly to the main power supply (i.e. 240 volts) under the Electricity Act, a licensed electrician must install it.
In relation to commercial premises the same principles apply. The mandatory installation of smoke alarms as called up by the BCA requires a licensed electrician or a Fire Detection Systems licence holder.
Basic maintenance such as cleaning (i.e. clearing off cobwebs, dust etc), testing (press the test button) and battery replacement (the back up battery) does not require a BSA or Electrical licence. To apply for a licence please contact your nearest BSA office or log onto the BSA’s website at www.bsa.qld.gov.au
Extra low voltage means voltage of 50V or less AC RMS, or 120V or less ripple-free DC (Electrical Safety Act 2002).
LICENSING INFORMATION STATEMENT
THE INSTALLATION OF SMOKE ALARMS
Licensing Information Statement LIS-001.2
1st Introduced 18/11/01
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