Victoria has released a new fire-safety flyer that must be provided to renters at the start of a tenancy.
It contains advice from the state's Metropolitan Fire Brigade and the Country Fire Authority and will be inserted in Renting a home – a guide for tenants, produced by Consumer Affairs Victoria.
The flyer, titled Be fire safe in your rental property, will ensure all parties involved in a tenancy understand their responsibilities, according to Consumer Affairs.
Executive director Claire Noone said the flyer covered information on smoke alarms and other important fire safety issues.
"Many Victorians rent their home and it is crucial that they know how to keep safe," Dr Noone said.
"Whether you are a renter, landlord or property owner, you have a responsibility to take action to prevent household fires. This valuable resource will help Victoria's renters be safer."
The fire brigade’s director of community resilience, Rob Purcell, said lives could be saved if renters familiarised themselves with the new flyer and its contents.
"Renters should test their smoke alarms once a month by pressing the button and holding it until the alarm goes beep, beep, beep," Mr Purcell said.
"Make sure you dust or vacuum around the covers of smoke alarms once a year."
By law, every home in Victoria must have a working smoke alarm and landlords are responsible for installing them in rental properties.
However, tenants are still responsible for their own safety. These are some tips Consumer Affairs Victoria is passing on to tenants:
Tenants need to:
- test smoke alarms monthly
- clean the alarm
- report any faults to the landlord or property manager
In the event of fire, tenants should:
- get down low to stay out of smoke
- alert others on the way out if it is safe to do so
Electrical products such as power boards are also a common source of fires, so tenants should:
- use one power board per power point
- never plug a power board into another power board
- only buy electrical products with either a regulatory compliance mark or Australian approval mark
[Related: Cause for alarm over non-compliance]