Tenants have obligations for cleaning, testing and replacing batteries for alarms during a tenancy. Landlords have obligations for installing, cleaning and testing smoke alarms and replacing batteries before the start or renewal of a tenancy. Property Managers must ensure compliance from both sides. The best way to do this is to engage the services of a professional company to ensure compliance prior to each new tenant or lease renewal.
A trusted smoke alarm company will check compliance of the alarms, this for a nominal fee and provide a compliance certificate for peace of mind. To be honest, I would not want to be responsible for checking such a life saving device when for such a small, tax deductable amount I can be assured of my tenant’s safety.
I have pictures from a home that my agency was managing a few years ago. The tenants had just moved in and there was a storm creating an electrical black out The tenant lit a candle which she left near a curtain when she went to bed. The insurance is a whole side story; but the fact is that without the smoke alarms, our tenant and her three children would not have made it out alive! I am not exaggerating, the whole house burned down and there were scorch marks on both neighboring houses. Because of the quick response time, our neighbors houses were saved as the fire department was called urgently.
Please remember your smoke alarm compliance for new tenants and for lease renewals. Treat any reports for maintenance as urgent and have your smoke alarm company attend as soon as possible. With most companies, your annual subscription entitles you to free call outs for any reason. Perhaps the new year would be good a time to do a smoke alarm audit on your properties.
I could not live with myself if my Tenants or the property of my Landlord were destroyed due to forgetting something so critical. for such a small fee, let the professionals handle the responsibility.
This is prepared for information only. The Fire and Rescue Act 1990 is the primary source on the law and takes precedence over this information supplied.
For more information about the obligations for the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms in rental premises, visit the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service website http://www.fire.qld.gov.au or call their Information Hotline on 1300 369 003.