Queensland’s new smoke alarm legislation took effect on January 1, 2017, making it vital for property managers and landlords to stay abreast with the updated legislation.
“One of the important roles of property managers is to make sure that all the properties they manage are compliant with the most up-to-date legislation,” said Julieanne Worchurst, national sales and marketing director at Smoke Alarm Solutions (SAS).
“It is important for property managers and their landlords to be aware of the complexities surrounding the new QLD smoke alarm legislation and the potential high cost of compliance, as well as the different dates a property must comply, which is dependent on whether they manage an existing rental property or … a brand new build.”
The latest state legislation (which stipulates the type of smoke alarms, locations, and interconnections required for various properties) act alongside previously enacted legislation.
The additional requirements (over and above existing legislation) require smoke alarms to be:
- Installed in each bedroom of a house
- Powered by either 240v with battery back-up or long life tamper-proof 10-year batteries
- Interconnected and photoelectric
- Compliant with AS3786:2014
Key dates to note
Properties built after May 1, 2014, are required to have interconnected smoke alarms, whereas property developments approved after January 1, 2017, are required to have interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarms in bedrooms and hallways.
Existing rental property or property being sold has until January 2022 to comply with the new legislation, and existing owner-occupied property has until January 2027 to comply with the new legislation.
Greater industry awareness is necessary
Worchurst emphasised that greater industry awareness around compliance would reduce the increasing number of legal claims finalised against property management and real estate agencies, and reassure landlords that their property managers are up-to-date with the latest legislation.
“By employing a reputable company that specialises in smoke alarm compliance and maintenance to upgrade a property’s smoke alarm system to the new legislative requirements, both the property manager and landlord can be assured that they’ve met their duty of care. This in turn will reduce the risk of legal claims being filed against them in the unfortunate incidence of a house fire,” she said.
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