Home owner’s all know the importance of checking your smoke alarms regularly and that it is recommended that you change your batteries at least once every year, but did you know it is also recommended that you clean your smoke alarms at least once every 6 months (making sure it is free of bugs, dust & debris and push the test button regularly to make sure your smoke alarm is sounding)? Yeah ok, so still not that hard right?
One thing I like to do is push the test button on the smoke alarm at each routine inspection. I do this to make sure the alarms are sounding and sounding loud, if I get no response from the alarm or I feel the sound is not as loud as it should be (remembering it needs to be loud enough to wake a sleeping body) then I get straight on the phone and organise my smoke alarm technician to attend as soon as practically possible.
But what about your investment property where your tenants are living? It gets a little more complicated when it comes to making sure your smoke alarms are in good working order under legislation for tenanted properties.
What, how could it be any different? I hear you, but if your tenanted property was to go up in flames – the first question your insurer will want to know is – did you have working smoke alarms? Followed by, were they compliant?
Legislation for South Australia
The development Act 1993 requires smoke alarms to be installed on every storey, they must be located between each part of the dwelling containing bedrooms and the remainder of the dwelling. Smoke alarms must also be installed in any hallway leading to the bedrooms. Landlords must comply with smoke alarm legislation in all residential rental properties including detached houses, villa units, sole occupancy units, guest houses and hostels.
So how do you make sure your smoke alarms are compliant in SA for your tenanted property?
A very easy and effective way is to utilise a Smoke Alarm Service company who specialise in looking after rental properties smoke alarms by testing them, changing batteries when they drop below a set standard and cleaning bugs & debris from the alarm at each service. These companies can be of great use to yourself as a landlord as they give you peace of mind knowing that your smoke alarms are compliant and in the event of a fire knowing your insurance is not at risk of being void through failure to comply with smoke alarm legislation.
Do you know if your investment property is compliant?
Has your property manager already got a service technician looking after your alarms? These are questions you need to be asking.
A good investment property manager should organise this for you and make sure your properties stay compliant.
A local specialist is Smoke Alarm Solutions. You can call them on 1300 852 301 or visit www.smokealarmsolutions.com.au.
Author: Tanya Christie
“your investment management specialist”