Stay Safe This Winter: The Importance of Smoke Alarms in Your Property

As the cooler months approach, the increased use of fireplaces, heaters, electric blankets, and air conditioners in homes brings not only warmth and comfort but also a heightened risk of fires. This makes it crucial for homeowners, especially those with rental or investment properties, to ensure their smoke alarms are in top working condition.

Why Smoke Alarms are Crucial

Smoke alarms are a vital part of home safety. In the event of a fire, they provide the necessary early warning to save lives and prevent property damage. A functioning smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of escaping from a fire unharmed.

Legislative Requirements in NSW

In NSW, legislation requires that all investment and rental properties must have smoke alarms installed on every level of the home. These alarms must be in working order at all times to comply with the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000. Landlords are responsible for installing smoke alarms in rented properties and ensuring they are maintained. This includes replacing batteries annually or more often if needed and replacing the smoke alarm unit itself every ten years.

Checking and Maintaining Your Smoke Alarms

Test your smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.

Replace batteries annually or as soon as you hear the low battery warning beep, which usually sounds every few minutes when replacement is needed.

Clean the alarm by gently using a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from the sensors, as dust can hinder the alarm’s functionality.

Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every ten years, or as recommended by the manufacturer, regardless of whether it seems to be working.

Remember, a simple check today can prevent a devastating loss tomorrow. Stay warm and keep yourselves, your tenants and your property safe!