Smoke Alarm Regulations Are a Hot Topic
We have known for some time that the new smoke alarm regulations came into law on the 1st July 2016. We recommend you read the below to make sure you are compliant to the new rules. There are serious ramification if you are not, but to say the least not only is it not costly to make these changes but will also help keep your tenants safe from any potential disaster that may or may not happen.
“The smoke alarm requirements will save lives as 75 per cent of fatalities occur in properties where there is no working alarm. We are requiring new installations and replacements to be the long life photoelectric alarms and are also requiring that they be installed consistent with relevant manufacturer and Australian Standard requirements.” Housing Minister Nick Smith
From 1st July 2016 all residential rental properties covered by the RTA must meet the following regulatory requirements:
- There must be a minimum of one working smoke alarm within 3 metres of each bedroom door, and in a self-contained caravan, sleep out or similar there must be a minimum of one working smoke alarm.
- The landlord is responsible for making sure smoke alarms are in working order at the beginning of every new tenancy.
- The tenant is responsible for replacing batteries (if required) during their tenancy.
- In multi-story units there must be one smoke alarm on each level within the household unit.
- Long life photoelectric smoke alarms are now required where there are no existing alarms. When existing smoke alarms are replaced, the replacements must be long life photoelectric smoke alarms.
- Hard wired smoke alarms are also acceptable.
- All smoke alarms must be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended replacement date stated on the alarm.
- All new and replacement smoke alarms in rental properties are to be installed in accordance with placement requirements provided in the manufacturer’s instructions. The illustrations here from New Zealand Standard 4514 provide a simple guide on where to place alarms. You can also find helpful information on the NZ Fire Service’s website.
- When smoke alarms are installed or replaced, you should ensure the alarms you purchase comply with the manufacturing standard: Australian Standard AS3786:1993; or equivalent international standard: UL217 (USA), ULCS531 (Canada), BS5446: Part 1 (United Kingdom), BS EN 14604 (United Kingdom) or ISO12239 (International). (This should be displayed prominently on the packaging.)
- It is an unlawful act for tenants to cause or permit any interference with, or to render inoperative, any means of escape from fire – which includes smoke alarms. The maximum fine for this offence is $3,000.
Note: These regulations don’t override any additional compliance requirements for smoke alarms in other legislation eg; multi-unit residential complexes, student accommodation or boarding houses.
Contact us to learn more about our FREE smoke alarm instillation when you bring your rental property to us.