Promoted by SmokeAlarmsAustralia.com.au
With winter upon us, it is time to turn on heaters and put the electric blanket on high to stave off the cold. There are greater chances of home fires at this time of year. Working smoke alarms provide early warning and give the best opportunity to save lives & reduce the risk to property. For landlords there is a responsibility to ensure that all rental properties have working smoke alarms and it is important that smoke alarms are checked and maintained regularly.
Some alarming facts
Data collected between 2016 and 2018 shows that 33% of properties across Queensland were found non-compliant to smoke alarm legislation standards upon first inspection. Of these properties, 38.4% of houses and 28% of units were found non-compliant. That equates to nearly 1 in 3 of every rental property poses a risk for Agents and landlords who have not managed their duty of care. These statistics show the potential risk in your portfolio and fire authorities say you are twice as likely to fall victim to a house fire without working smoke alarms.
As a property manager you can educate tenants on safe use of heaters and other household appliances. Add information to your newsletters about leaving open flames unattended, replacing devices with exposed wiring and correct use of heat-generating appliances. Property Managers can also educate landlords on their duty of care and steps that can be taken to have rental properties compliant to the state legislation.
There are 2 common questions asked in relation to smoke alarm servicing.
- What is my duty of care?
Rental properties must be compliant to the relevant legislation and it is the Landlord who is held accountable through their duty of tenant care. Legislation in QLD requires to install, test and maintain smoke alarms in rental properties annually.
Simply, smoke alarms are required to be installed and or serviced and maintained;
- At the commencement of any new tenancy agreement
- Annually (as per the manufacturer’s warranty)
- At alarm malfunction
It is the property manager’s responsibility to ensure Landlords are sufficiently covered and the obligation to maintain smoke alarms in between each tenancy is fulfilled.
- Am I legally required to have my smoke alarms serviced by a professional company?
No, but you are legally required to ensure smoke alarms are functioning correctly at the commencement of every tenancy.
SAA works with your agency to manage the risk associated with smoke alarms in your area. SAA has a range of tools that can help your agency understand its potential risk including a risk calculator and alarm stats for your area. The SAA representative can work with you to show pockets of risk and then can help manage the process to increase your alarm coverage.