The Building Amendment Regulations (No.3) 2017 gazetted on 22 December 2017 includes a number changes related to the installation of smoke alarms. These include:

  • an exemption now available for property owners transferring a title to a new owner who intends on demolishing the dwelling;
  • new definitions apply for a declaration of intended demolition transfer day and post-transfer period;
  • a defence is created for a previous owner against a charge of failing to install smoke alarms prior to the transfer of the ownership of a dwelling if he or she can prove the new owner provided them with a declaration of intended demolition for the dwelling prior to the day of transfer;
  • a defence is created for a new owner against a charge of failing to install smoke alarms during the post-transfer period if the new owner can prove the dwelling was demolished within the post-transfer period; and
  • the new owner may recover the costs of installing smoke alarms from the previous owner if the new owner didn’t provide a declaration of intended demolition. Further information is available in Building Commission Industry Bulletin 95 at www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/ building commission.

Part IV of the Electricity Regulations 1947 requires all residential premises be fitted with a minimum of two RCDs protecting all general purpose power and lighting circuits if the property title is to be transferred or the dwelling is offered for rent or hire and cites the current Wiring Rules version AS/NZ 3000:2007. The forthcoming new edition of the Wiring Rules will require all sub-circuits in residential installations to be RCD protected, including circuits supplying fixed appliances such as water heaters, stoves, pool pumps, and spas. However, it is not proposed to change the existing requirements of Part IV to reflect the new Wiring Rules. It will continue to be necessary for rental and for-sale properties to have at least two RCDs protecting all lighting and general purpose power circuits. The wording of Part IV will be amended in due course to enable the present requirements to continue.

Building and Energy recently produced two short videos summarising residual current device (RCD) requirements for domestic installations. This should help make it easier for homeowners, tenants, property managers, real estate/ settlement agents, and landlords to understand how RCD legislation is applicable to their situation.

Install two residual current devices’ and ‘Test your residual current devices’, both narrated by Building and Energy’s Chief Electrical Inspector Compliance, Todd Bell, are available on our website at www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/ energy safety. Both videos run for less than two minutes, and can be found on the pages ‘Residual current devices (RCDs) – Testing RCDs’ and ‘RCD rules’. Electricians are encouraged to direct customers with questions on RCDs to the videos.

150mm zone either side of cooktops and extending upward to the range hood, ceiling or 2.4m will apply, where switches and socket outlets must not be installed; this removes the need to reach across hot surfaces.