Smoke alarm rules, regulations and maintenance.

All homes constructed after 1st August 1997 are required to have 240 volt mains-powered smoke alarms installed.

When you are asleep you lose your sense of smell. Smoke alarms save lives by warning of fire in time to escape. It is a legal requirement for owners of residential dwellings to install smoke alarms. Prior to purchasing a smoke alarm, advice should be sought on regulations for installation and maintenance and alternative devices for the hearing impaired including strobe lights and vibration pads.

Changes to laws in Victoria now require real estate agents, property management companies and landlords to accept responsibility for the supply, installation and testing of smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms should be fitted approximately 1 metre from all bedrooms.

Smoke alarms must be replaced every 10 years.

Smoke alarm Batteries should be replaced at least once a year to ensure correct operation.

Landlords are responsible for the supply, installation and testing for the smoke alarm(s).

Landlords are also required to install a new battery for each smoke alarm at the commencement of each new tenancy.

Tenants are not responsible for the replacement of batteries in ‘hard-wired’ smoke alarm systems that have battery back-up. This is the responsibility of the landlord.

At NO time can a landlord/tenant remove or relocate the smoke alarm or do anything to interfere with the alarm’s warning sound.

At NO time can the landlord/tenant remove the batteries unless they are replacing them.

At NO time can the landlord remove or relocate the smoke alarm unless it is being replaced or maintained.

Fisher Brothers Electrical are fully licenced contractors experienced in property management.

All electrical work in Victoria must be compliant with AS3000/2007 and certified with a certificate of electrical safety by a licensed electrical contractor.

Certified electrical work only includes 240 volt electrical work, this does not include 9volt battery powered smoke alarms.

Landlords, handyman, real estate agents and tenants are legally not authorised to install or replace 240 volt smoke alarms and more importantly are not insured for the works.

Landlords, handyman, real estate agents and tenants cannot purchase or provide certificates of electrical.

Energy Safe Victoria reserves the right to investigate, prosecute and convict any person(s) found to be performing illegal and/or unlicensed electrical works in Victoria.

Agents, landlords and property managers can be assured that they are well protected when using Fisher Brothers Electrical.

The facts.

What the law says:

Landlords must ensure their rental property complies with Australian Standard 3786-1993 and installed smoke alarms as outlined in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) Part

The BCA requires that any property built or substantially renovated after 1 July 1997 must have 240 volt hard-wired smoke alarms installed.

Section 707 of the Building Regulations 2006 state that. A self-contained smoke alarm complying with AS 3786-1993 must be installed in each dwelling, in appropriate locations on or near the ceiling of every storey of the dwelling. The appropriate locations must be as determined in accordance with Practice Note 2006-27 issued by the Building Commission in May 2006.

Duty of care:

Real Estate Institute of Victoria recommended Agencies and Property Managers to engage suitable contractor’s to service smoke alarms at all their listed properties. Insurance companies have stated that the checking and servicing of smoke alarms is outside the considered expertise of a Property manager, Landlord, Tenant or the Handyman.


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