Smoke Alarm Safety

In most states across Australia smoke alarms complying with Australian Standards must be fitted in all rental properties and in accordance with the Building Code of Australia.

In Victoria, all homes constructed after 1st August 1997 are required to have mains-powered smoke alarms installed. Smoke alarms should be supported by a home fire escape plan.

A person not complying with the legislation is guilty of an offence.

Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

  • At least one smoke alarm must be located between bedrooms and the most likely escape path on each level of every residential property.
  • Batteries should be replaced at least once a year to ensure correct operation. It is recommended that you change your smoke alarm battery at the same time each year using a Birthday, Christmas or some other significant date to remind you, except mains powered units.
  • Landlords have the right of access to rented premises to fit smoke alarms after giving the tenant at least two days’ notice.
  • Landlords should be aware that smoke alarms have a limited life span of around 10 years.
  • Landlords need to give tenants the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean, test and replace batteries for smoke alarms; the grille area of the smoke alarm should be cleaned every 6 months using a vacuum to remove dust or debris.
  • Landlords are responsible for supplying the smoke alarm(s) and for their installation.
  • The Rental Condition Report section of the tenancy agreement will include a specific reference to smoke alarms so that tenants and landlords are able to note and comment on the presence of smoke alarms at the beginning and end of the tenancy.

To find out more about smoke alarms in rental properties, please contact us.

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