Smoke Alarm Compliance For Rental Properties
Smoke Alarm Legislation – What you need to know to ensure your managed property is covered
Whether you are an investor, real estate agent, or part of a body corporate or strata management group, chances are there are smoke alarms installed. But what you might not know is that there have been recent changes to smoke alarm legislation that’s caught many managers and investment property owners off guard.
Below is an outline of how you can ensure your managed property not only meets these new legislation requirements in Queensland but ensures your duty of care as a manager has been met as well as the safety of your tenants.
Changes to Queensland’s smoke alarm legislation
In a bid to make Queensland households the safest in Australia in relation to fire safety, new smoke alarm legislation has been introduced.
The new legislation specifies that:
“All Queensland dwellings will be required to have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms in all bedrooms, in hallways that connect bedrooms with the rest of the dwelling and on every level”
The rollout of these mandatory interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms in Queensland will happen over A 10-year period.
How to comply
To comply with legislation, interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms are required as per the below:
- From 1 January 2017: in all new dwellings and substantially renovated dwellings (this applies to building applications submitted from 1 January 2017).
- From 1 January 2022: in all domestic dwellings leased and sold.
- From 1 January 2027: in all other domestic dwellings.
What does this mean for real estate agents, landlords, body corporate or investors?
If you manage or own a rental property, you’d want to get moving quickly.
“It means that real estate agents, landlords, body corporates and investment property owners that manage rental properties have less than 16 months to comply.”
Further requirements for real estate agents, landlords, body corporate or investors
Furthermore, the following guidelines must be met to ensure smoke alarm systems are current, up to date, and in working order.
- Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago must be replaced (smoke alarms have their manufacture date stamped on them).
- Smoke alarms that do not operate when tested must be replaced immediately.
- Existing hardwired smoke alarms that need replacing must be replaced with a hardwired photoelectric smoke alarm.
- Test and clean smoke alarms and replace any flat or nearly flat batteries within 30 days before the start or renewal of a tenancy.
- Never remove or touch a smoke alarm unless you are testing it, cleaning it or replacing the battery.
Tips to maintaining your smoke alarms
See the following list of helpful hints on how to maintain your smoke alarms:
Every month: Test your smoke alarm using the test/hush button and check the batteries with mains power switched off. Clean the alarm by removing dust and insects.
Every 3 months: Remove dust. Spray insect repellent on a cloth and wipe the ceiling around the smoke alarm. Test smoke alarm after cleaning.
Every year: replace the back-up battery annually. Choose a recurring date that’s easy to remember (like a birthday, or the start of daylight saving).
Every 10 years: All smoke alarms have a limited service life of 10 years. After that period, the entire smoke alarm unit must be replaced with a new one.
Don’t get caught out, get it done ASAP.
Given the number of rental properties on the Gold Coast, you don’t want to be stuck trying to book an electrician a few months out from the deadline then find yourself non-compliant. Be sure to book a qualified electrician today.
When it comes to smoke alarms and people’s safety, there’s no substitute for hiring a qualified electrician to ensure you’ve met the legislative requirements for the property you manage or own.
Do not attempt to do your own electrical work, whatever the circumstance. Not only is it illegal, but it’s also extremely dangerous and could kill you or your tenants. It can also affect your insurance, so while it may seem like a good idea at the time, it can severely hurt you in the long run.
Hire a Gold Coast Electrician to ensure you’re covered.
At AMP’D Electrical & Solar, we’ve helped real estate agents, landlords, strata and body corporate management groups and investors ensure their properties meet the fire safety requirements set by this new legislation.
Whether it’s testing and maintaining your current system or upgrading to interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms, if you’re after an electrician Gold Coast based or beyond, AMP’D Electrical & Solar have you covered. Furthermore, as the property manager or owner, you can rest easy knowing you’ve met your duty of care and that your tenants are safe and secure.
If you’re a real estate agent, landlord, strata management group, or investor and need to upgrade or maintain your smoke alarm system, contact AMP’D Electrical & Solar today.
To find out more on electrical compliance around your managed property, click here