Maintaining a smoke alarm is more than just changing the battery and testing the alarm with a stick or by pressing the ‘battery test’ button. You need to know that it will actually work in a fire.
Given there is a house fire in Australia approximately every 26 minutes, with most of them occurring at night whilst we sleep and have no sense of smell, it’s simply not worth the risk of ignoring fire safety.
The following points are critical in ensuring your tenant is safe from a fire in your investment property.
Ensuring the correct quantity and quality of smoke alarms are installed.
Ensuring correct positioning of smoke alarms and repositioning.
Ensuring ventilation holes are clear of obstructions such as insects and their debris.
Checking the expiry date of every alarm.
Full function test on every alarm including testing the alarm with artificial smoke.
Certificate of compliance for the property.
Landlords are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms.
Neither the landlord nor the tenant are, except with reasonable excuse, permitted to remove or interfere with the operation of a smoke alarm fitted in your property.
The landlord is responsible for ensuring that the alarms have been tested, expiry date checked and batteries replaced. The general principle is that smoke alarms should be positioned to detect smoke before it reaches sleeping occupants. The sound emitted by the alarm is designed to wake occupants, giving them time to evacuate.
After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery if needed. However, if the tenant is physically unable to change the battery (example: due to height of ceiling) the tenant is required to notify the landlord as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need for it to be replaced.
The condition report section of the tenancy agreement must include a specific reference to smoke alarms so that tenants and landlords are able to note and comment on the presence of smoke alarms at the beginning and end of the tenancy.
View information from Fire & Rescue NSW
View the current Building Legislation Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Act 2005
View the current Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Regulation 2006