Safety first when selling

Updated electrical and fire safety regulations mean anyone selling their home must meet certain obligations.

Firstly, any home built after 1992 must have a safety switch installed. An electrical safety switch is designed to protect people from the most frequent cause of electrocution, which is an electrical current passing through the body to the earth.

A safety switch is designed to cut the electricity supply to the property in a fraction of a second when a harmful level of electricity is detected.

Such an accident could be caused by a faulty appliance or power tool, damage to an electrical cable, or through a lack of maintenance.

In Queensland, it is a legal requirement for all properties to have an electrical safety switch installed. When selling your property, you must disclose whether a safety switch has been installed in the property on the contract of sale, as well as on the property transfer documents. 

Older homes may not have a safety switch, and if this is the case, you, as the seller, should consider installing one, as any buyer will have to install one within three months.

Home buyers can be fined over $1,500 if they do not install a safety switch within this time frame.

Safety switches must also be fitted to all power point circuits when any new electrical installations occur. A licensed electrician must always do this work.

Smoke alarms

From January 2017, all new and significantly renovated homes were required to have interconnected Australian Standard 3786-2014 photoelectric smoke alarms (IP smoke alarms) installed, and from January 2022, IP smoke alarms were required in every home that was rented or sold.

According to the Queensland Fire Service, smoke alarms must: 

  • Be photoelectric (AS3786-2014).
  • And not also contain an ionisation sensor.
  • And be hardwired to the mains power supply, if currently hardwired be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

The legislation requires smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:

  • On each storey in each bedroom.
  • 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.

It’s important to know your obligations as a property buyer or seller. If you have questions about conveyancing or any other aspect of property law, get in touch with the experts here at Bickell & Mackenzie.


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