April Check For Smoke Alarms


SSKB - Strata Managers reminds you to check your smoke alarms April 1

Don’t be an April fool – Replace your smoke detector battery next week.

The fire services of Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia recommend smoke detector batteries be replaced on April 1 – an easy date to remember.

For New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, the date is Sunday, April 3 – timed to coincide with the end of daylight savings.

And for owner-investors in strata communities, those dates are doubly important to remember.

Landlords are responsible for ensuring that their property has the requisite number of smoke detectors, but their responsibility doesn’t end there.

Where smoke detectors are hard-wired into the properties, landlords are also responsible for replacing the back-up batteries with each new tenancy.

April’s fire safety week is also an excellent time to review the age of smoke detectors in your home and in any investment lots you own.

Smoke detectors have a maximum service life of ten years, after which they need to be replaced. Fire services across Australia recommend that home owners and landlords replace older ionization smoke alarms with photoelectric smoke alarms.

Let’s look at the difference between the two:

  • Ionization smoke alarms have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates. This ionizes the air, causing a current to follow between the plates. Smoke entering the chamber disrupts the flow of ions and triggers the alarm.
  • Photoelectric smoke alarms, as the name suggests, uses a photoelectric beam to trigger the alarm and are considered better in detecting smoldering fires that generate a lot of smoke

In the wake of a 2011 fire which killed 11 people, the Queensland Government is considering legislation that would require photoelectric smoke detectors to be placed in every bedroom and connecting areas of the home.

To find out about the specific smoke alarm laws which affect your properties by each state, we’ve included links:

Queensland – https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/safety/smoke-alarms.html

New South Wales – http://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/page.php?id=290

Victoria – http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumer-resources/building/pages/smoke-alarms



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