Subscribe to our forum

Receive new forum posts by email

FREE Property Appraisal

Click here to request property appraisal

Sign Up for our publications

Click here to sign up for our publications


SMOKE ALARMS Are you exposed?

May 12th 2008

In the case of a house fire, smoke alarms are vital for protecting homes, possessions and most importantly lives. When you are the proud owner of a rental property, it is important to have smoke detectors installed and regularly maintained.The property management team from Fletchers recommends that this vital regular maintenance is performed by a professional service.

Recently, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria advised real estate agents to have the smoke alarms in their rental properties maintained on a regular basis by a contractor. There are even plans to legislate the requirement for regular smoke alarm maintenance in rental properties, in the near future.

The building commission identifies that the landlord is responsible for maintaining smoke alarms.

Today, the Building Code of Australia and the Building Regulations 2006 place a clear responsibility on property owners to have installed self-contained smoke alarms. Recommendations for good maintenance also exists under AS 1851 – Maintenance of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment

It states that the landlord, not the tenant is in charge of charging the battery, cleaning and testing the alarm. The battery in a smoke alarm must be replaced at least once a year and a smoke alarm must be replaced every 10 years or earlier in some instances. Testing needs to be conducted on a regular basis to ensure the alarms are functioning properly and efficiently.

To complete an accurate report on the functions of a smoke alarm, it requires more than just pressing the test button.
A professional will be able to test the alarm to ensure the sensing mechanisms are functional, decibel testing to ensure the appropriate loudness, visual checking and the assessment of the correct location
of the alarms. Dust and other obstructions are also taken into consideration during this extensive testing process. By employing a professional to conduct these tests, it will provide landlords with peace of mind knowing that they are maintaining a safe rental property.

Imagine the implications and potential cost if there was a fire at your investment property and your smoke alarms did not operate.
Good maintenance and effective risk management requires the individual doing the work to have the time, knowledge and equipment to do the job properly. Effective risk management ensures that a competent person regularly tests and reports back on the condition of the smoke alarms. The alarms always need to be in full working order and if they have any faults or are found to be defective, they can be fixed or replaced immediately. Smoke alarms operate day and nightkeeping watch over the house entrusted to your management and the families who call the house a home.

In the case of a fire, these alarms are relied upon to detect the smoke and alert the occupants of the fire. This is therefore too late to perform maintenance or repairs.

– Fletchers Property newsletter April 2008 Edition