As we kick into Australia’s colder months and our heating devices come out it is important to make sure you are protected in your own home as well as those people residing in your investment property.
It is essential that all property owners are aware of what needs o be done to test and maintain your smoke alarms and have a management plan in place.
We recommend every owner engages a smoke alarm monitoring company to ensure they are being correctly tested, monitored, cleaned and the batteries are replaced regularly. For a small tax deductible set cost per annum, this will provide you peace of mind and protection in the event of a fire tragedy.
If you insist on monitoring your own smoke alarms for your investment property, its important that you contact your insurer so you know your legal position in the need of a claim. Legislation requires certain constraints for certain properties so it is important that you check what is required under your state based legislation.
For example, under the smoke alarm act 2005 NSW properties from 1st May 2006 must have at least one working smoke alarm installed on each level of the property. Because smoke rises, smoke alarms should be placed on the ceiling. If that is not possible, it may be positioned high on a wall, according to the manufacturers instructions.
Alarms must be installed between any area containing bedrooms and the rest of the house. For example, hallways or on a storey not containing bedrooms on the most likely evacuation route from the storey.
There are also different types of alarms to be made aware of including:
- Ionisation smoke alarms, these alarms smell the smoke and detect invisible particles of combustion, they activate quickly for fast flaming fires with little visible smoke.
- Photoelectric smoke alarms. These alarms “see” smoke and detect visible particles of combustion. They respond to a wide range of fires responsive to smouldering fires and dense smoke such as that released by foam filled furnishings or overheated PVC wiring.
- Specialized alarms for deaf /hearing impaired people.
- Alarms with emergency lights
- Special smoke alarms for kitchens
- Inter-connectable smoke alarm models which sound alarms in all devices within the property.
Under all legislation persons must not remove or interfere with the operation of smoke alarms installed but it is important to understand that things can sometime fall beyond our control and its best to get experts in where possible.