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Hari Iyer | SyncEzy

Hari Iyer | SyncEzy

CEO
  • Reading Icon 7 Min Read
  • Reading Icon Jan 29, 2023
Smoke Alarm Inspection Laws

For the benefit of our customers. Here is a summary of the smoke alarm inspection laws around Australia.  Smoke alarms in residential properties are regulated by the state government, for the purpose of this article we will refer to residential smoke alarm-related laws.

Let’s start with Victoria

All Victorian residential properties must have smoke alarms on every level. This includes all houses, units, flats and townhouses. Smoke alarms must meet Australian standard: AS 3786.

For the best protection, install interconnected smoke alarms in every sleeping area and living room. If one smoke alarm activates, all alarms will sound.

Install smoke alarms with a 10 year-long-life battery. If you have a smoke alarm with a 9-volt battery, replace the battery every year.

Smoke alarm requirements after 29 March 2021

These requirements for smoke alarm safety apply to:

  • rental agreements entered into after 29 March 2021
  • fixed term agreements of more than five years that become periodic tenancies after 29 March 2021.

Renter and rental provider responsibilities for smoke alarm safety will be included in new rental agreements.

The rental provider must ensure smoke alarms:

  • are correctly installed and in working order
  • are tested according to the manufacturer’s instructions at least once every 12 months
  • have their batteries replaced as required
  • are repaired or replaced as an urgent repair

Renters must notify the rental provider in writing as soon as possible after becoming aware that a smoke alarm is not in working order.

On or before the start of a rental agreement, a rental provider must give a renter written information on how:

  • each smoke alarm works and how to test them
  • the renter must:
  • not tamper with any smoke alarm
  • report a smoke alarm that is not working
Renting law reforms

Victoria made significant changes to renting laws in 2021.

Some of the major changes to laws about smoke alarms include:

  • repairs to safety-related devices including smoke alarms are now defined as urgent repairs
  • a standard rental agreement may include a term setting out safety-related activities such as smoke alarm testing
  • a renter must not remove, deactivate or interfere with a safety device such as a smoke alarm.

Some language also changed:

  • landlords are now called rental providers
  • tenants are now called renters
  • leases are now called rental agreements.
NSW

For homeowners

NSW legislation stipulates that smoke alarms must be installed on every level of your home. This includes owner-occupied homes, rental properties, relocatable homes, caravans and camper-vans or any other residential building where people sleep.

For tenants

NSW legislation mandates that your landlord is responsible for ensuring your residence meets the minimal requirements of having at least one working smoke alarm installed on every level of your home.

Landlords are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms in rented premises.

Landlords have the right of access to rented premises to fit smoke alarms after giving the tenant at least two days’ notice.

After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery, if needed, in battery-operated smoke alarms. Hard-wired smoke alarm backup batteries are to be replaced by the landlord.

If the tenant is physically unable to change the battery, the tenant is required to notify the landlord as soon as practicable.

For landlords

According to NSW legislation, neither the landlord nor the tenant is, except with reasonable excuse, permitted to remove or interfere with the operation of a smoke alarm fitted in the rented premises.

Where a smoke alarm has a replaceable battery, the landlord must put a new battery in at the commencement of a tenancy.

After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery, if needed, in battery-operated smoke alarms. Hard-wired smoke alarm backup batteries are to be replaced by the landlord.

If the tenant is physically unable to change the battery the tenant is required to notify the landlord as soon as practicable.

The condition report section of the tenancy agreement must 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.

Owners of residential properties who rent out their premises as holiday accommodation are responsible for installing smoke alarms and replacing batteries.

Read more on these requirements.

Queensland

As of writing, the smoke alarm laws in the state of Queensland, Australia require that all residential properties have working smoke alarms installed on every level of the property, including bedrooms and hallways. The smoke alarms must be interconnected and must be tested monthly.

The smoke alarms must be replaced every 10 years and must be tested monthly. The owner of the property is responsible for ensuring that smoke alarms are installed and maintained in working order.

It is important to note that the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has made it mandatory for all residential properties to have photoelectric smoke alarms installed by 2027, this applies to new builds, existing homes and rental properties, and must be compliant with the Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014.

Western Australia

The smoke alarm laws in the state of Western Australia (WA), Australia requires that all residential properties have working smoke alarms installed on every level of the property, including bedrooms and hallways. The smoke alarms must be interconnected and must be tested monthly. The owner of the property is responsible for ensuring that smoke alarms are installed and maintained in working order.

It is important to note that the Western Australian Building Commission (WABC) recommends the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms that comply with the Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014.

Tasmania

From 1 May 2016, ALL smoke alarms in rental properties are required by law to be either mains powered or have a 10-year non-removable battery.

The tenant and the property owner share the responsibility to ensure alarms work.

Property Owner Responsibilities
  • Install either mains-powered or 10-year non-removable battery alarms.
  • Clean, test and ensure all alarms are operating prior to new occupancy.
  • Replace backup batteries in mains-powered smoke alarms.
  • Replace alarms every 10 years.
Tenant Responsibilities
  • Test and clean alarms.
  • Report faults to the owner/manager.
  • Notify the owner/manager of any fire safety concerns.

For further advice in this area, read this article.

It’s also important to note that the laws and regulations may change over time, and it’s always a good idea to check with the government website or a professional inspector to ensure that you comply with the current laws. It’s highly recommended to check regularly with the official government website for the latest updates on rules and regulations. Read more information on this topic here.

ACT

The ACT residential Tenancies Act was amended in August 2017 to require all leased properties in the ACT to be fitted with smoke alarms that comply with AS3786(1). Existing rental property owners have until 24th August 2018 to comply. The act also defines the responsibility of the property owner and tenant

Responsibility of the property owner: The owner or lessor of a property must install a working smoke alarm that complies with AS3786(1). An alarm must be installed in each storey of the building. On storeys with bedrooms, the alarm is to be located between the bedroom and the remainder of the building. Smoke alarms may be hard-wired or battery-operated. Responsibility of the tenant: Tenants are responsible for replacing smoke alarm batteries as required. ACTF&R recommend replacing the battery annually and testing the operation of the alarm regularly. For further information please refer to Residential Tenancies Act 1997, Residential Tenancies Regulation 1998, Australian Standard 3786-2014, Building Act 2004, and Building Regulation 2008. 

Read more information on this topic here.

Need advice?

If you’re a business that provides smoke alarm inspection services in Australia, our team can help you streamline your business and reduce your admin. Get in touch with our sales team today to find out how we’ve helped other smoke inspection companies with their business.

Author

Hari Iyer | SyncEzy
Hari Iyer | SyncEzy
CEO

Hari Iyer is the Founder and CEO of SyncEzy, a pioneering company at the forefront of data integration and automation solutions. With a deep understanding of the power of technology and a passion for solving complex business challenges, Hari has emerged as a visionary leader in the industry. His relentless pursuit of excellence and commitment to delivering tangible results have earned SyncEzy a loyal global clientele.

He is not only a successful entrepreneur but also an active contributor to the technology community, sharing his insights through thought leadership articles, speaking engagements, and mentorship programs. Hari’s ability to navigate the complexities of remote work serves as an inspiration for leaders, highlighting the importance of flexibility, work-life balance, and a results-oriented approach in today’s evolving work landscape.

Under his guidance, SyncEzy has gained widespread recognition for its deep integration solutions that seamlessly connect software applications, eliminate data silos, and enhance operational efficiency.

When not working, Hari is trying to be a better father, reading tech news, playing FPS games, and not exercising as he should.