June 18, 2024


Mad about real estate

Smoke Alarms And The Law: Owning A Residential Property

If you are selling a property or buying a property, there are a few things that need to be present in the house. Whether the home is your own or is to be rented, it’s important to ensure the occupants inside are safe should a fire occur. Likewise if the property is to be sold, you will need to take appropriate steps to make sure the home complies with laws regarding smoke alarms. Between 2000 and June 2005 there were 144 deaths in NSW from house fires. One third to a half of these deaths could have been prevented with the use of a working smoke alarm.

Smoke alarms – the law.

Smoke alarms, which at times are incorrectly called smoke detectors, were required to be installed in homes from 1 May 2006 and must comply with AS3786. Specifically, there needs to be a minimum of one for each level of the home and is necessary in any residential building someone may sleep. What was concerning was that in 2007 research into smoke alarms was conducted and found that 6{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4} of homes in NSW did not have smoke alarms installed. Any new buildings being built and any undergoing renovations are also required to have installed smoke alarms. This is according to The Building Legislation Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Act 2005 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Regulation. Smoke alarms in real estate must be in working order and are not to be removed or interfered with. Failure to comply with the legislation is an offence and can result in a maximum penalty of $550.

Smoke alarms need to be installed in rental properties, owner occupied and relocatable homes. This includes terrace houses, town houses, caretaker flats, detached houses, residences above shops and relocatable homes. Shared accommodation is also required to have alarms, such places like guest houses, backpacker accommodation, hostels and boarding houses. If the residential property in mind does not have smoke alarms, get them installed. They are life saving and will identify smoke long before the sleeping occupants can. Having smoke alarms in a home will offer significant seconds of time in order to save lives and if possible, property. It is recommended you test all your smoke alarms once a month and be cleaned every six months with a vacuum cleaner. Batteries should be replaced according to the type of battery used.

If you have any questions regarding laws on smoke alarms, your property management will be happy to answer any concerns you may have. Never try to avoid the law on smoke alarms as they could save your life or someone else’s.