Are you a first time investor and not sure if your smoke alarms are compliant in your rental property?
Not to worry, we’re here to help. Currently, property owners are required to install smoke alarms in all domestic dwellings.
They must also abide by the following:
The smoke alarms must comply with Australian Standard 3786-1993 and be installed outside sleeping areas with one on each level of the dwelling
The smoke alarms must be replaced before the end of their service life (smoke alarms are required to have a recommended service life of at least 10 years under normal conditions of use)
All smoke alarms must be tested and cleaned and any flat or nearly flat batteries replaced within 30 days before the start or renewal of a tenancy.
However, during February 2016, the Queensland Government moved to mandate the installation of photoelectric, hard wired smoke alarms in all bedrooms, living areas and escape paths in every Queensland dwelling. This was in response to the 150 deaths caused by house fires since 2004 and in particular, the 2011 Slacks Creek fire which claimed 11 lives including eight children.
Once the new legislation is passed, landlords will have five years to implement the below at their investment properties:
All dwellings will have to install additional smoke alarms in every bedroom, between areas containing bedrooms, in any hallway servicing bedrooms and in any other storey of a residential dwelling.
All the smoke alarms will need to be interconnected and either hard-wired or powered by a 10-year lithium battery
All installed smoke alarms will need to meet minimum performance standards with photoelectric type smoke alarms acting as the performance baseline. Photoelectric smoke alarms detect visible particles of combustion and therefore react faster to smoldering fires. They are also considered to be more reliable and less likely to produce false alarms, such as food burning during the cooking process.
If replacing an existing smoke alarm, homeowners will be required to purchase and install a photoelectric smoke alarm.
Click here for more information on smoke alarms or visit the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website.