Download the PDF file: Smoke Alarm Quick Guide

Listen to the audio version: Smoke Alarm Quick Guide

  • The Building Code of Australia stipulates that all Class 1a and 1b dwellings in Australia are required to have smoke alarms installed.
  • These smoke alarms must conform to Australian Standard 3786.
  • In simple terms Class 1a buildings are the typical home, a detached dwelling or group of dwellings such as town houses, terrace houses or row houses.  Class 1b are typically boarding or guesthouses, no bigger than 300m2 and with no more than 12 people. *
  • In South Australia, it is the property owner’s responsibility to have the appropriate number of working smoke alarms installed.
  • For extra protection, install more than just the minimum number of smoke alarms in your home and have them interconnected.
  • Notwithstanding the legal requirements, the SA Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) always recommends that interconnected 240V photoelectric smoke alarms are installed to provide the best protection across a range of fires.

The sample house plans below display suggestions of where to position smoke alarms in your home.

Single storey homes

MFS Image - Floorplan No Passageway house - no legend

MFS Image - Floorplan Bedrooms at both end of a home floorplan - no legend

MFS Image - Floorplan Single storey - no legend

MFS Image - Floorplan Legend for smoke alarms

Two storey home

MFS Image - Floorplan Two or more storeys - no legend

MFS Image - Floorplan Legend for smoke alarms

Smoke alarm legislation has changed a number of times over the years. The type of smoke alarm required in a home is dependent on when the home was built and whether it has changed ownership.  Use this flow chart to assist in determining which smoke alarm to install.

MFS Image - smoke alarm quick guide flow chart

* This Quick Guide does not apply to motels, hotels or multistorey apartment buildings where fire safety standards are set to higher levels.

For more detailed information refer to the MFS Fact Sheet - Smoke Alarm Legislation.

For further advice:


Phone: (08) 8204 3611

Country Callers: 1300 737 637

Want more information on how to maintain your smoke alarms?

Look at our Smoke Alarm Servicing Schedule