Not Worth the Chance

1. Why is it important to use a professional smoke alarms service?

Utilising a professional service such as Smoke Alarms Australia, who are experts in smoke alarm maintenance and installation, means you can rest-assured you have smoke alarms installed that will actually work in a fire and that are positioned correctly for maximum protection.
Smoke Alarms Australia will visit your property annually and if you are a landlord, at each tenancy change (as required by law) to inspect all alarms. They check to ensure your property has the correct number of alarms according to the building code, that they are located correctly and that they haven't expired. They clean and install new batteries, test with artificial smoke and when alarms are expired, faulty or damaged replace them with new Australian Standard approved alarms. Then issue a report and a compliance certificate to be kept on file.

2. Why does the service cost $99 when some other companies advertise a slightly lower price?

With Smoke Alarms Australia, there is no more to pay. Smoke Alarms Australia's all inclusive price not only includes servicing and maintaining the alarms, but also the actual installation of as many alarms as you need, or the replacement of faulty, expired or tampered with alarms. There is NO MORE TO PAY no matter how many alarms you have or need. Some other services advertise a lower annual fee but it does not include the alarms and/or batteries. More often than not, these services actually cost more when you factor in all the add-ons for installation and replacement of alarms.

3. Who are Smoke Alarms Australia's technicians?

Smoke Alarms Australia only uses directly employed full-time technicians. They are professionally trained and are trusted members of their team.

4. If I've got a hard-wired alarm with a 10-year battery, why would I need this service?

Each hard-wired alarm has an expiration date. The Australian Standard 3786 says the maximum life span of an alarm is 10 years, but not all of them last that long. You can rest assured that Smoke Alarms Australia's technicians will replace hard wired alarms if they are faulty or expired. They deem a smoke alarm to be faulty when it does not respond to a function test by spraying ionised smoke. Also, if you are a landlord, by law you MUST check and maintain the alarm between each change of tenancy.
It's important to note that we include the replacement of hard-wired alarms in our annual fee. Some companies charge a hefty additional fee for hard-wired alarm replacement, but with Smoke Alarms Australia it's included at no extra cost.

5. If I'm a landlord, what is my obligation according to legislation and regulations?

Aside from the obvious duty-of-care to keep your tenants safe, maintaining smoke alarms is a legal obligation you have as a landlord. Each state of Australia has legislation governing the responsibility of the managing agent, the landlord and the tenant with respect to smoke alarm installation and maintenance, but unanimously smoke alarms are required to be installed and maintained:

  • At the commencement of any new tenancy agreement
  • Annually (as per the manufacturers warranty)
  • At alarm malfunction

6. If I am a landlord who has a property manager, isn't it their obligation as the property manager to take care of these things?

It is your property manager's responsibility to ensure you are sufficiently covered and that the obligation to maintain your smoke alarms in between each tenancy is fulfilled. Many property managers have used other means such as handymen to keep costs to a minimum; however, most now recognise there is too much risk involved now to use anyone but a smoke alarms specialist. Handymen and general electricians are not necessarily experts in determining what is required.

7. If my building is managed by a strata company or body corporate, don't they take care of the smoke alarms?

Many people think that their property is compliant with smoke alarms legislation and regulations if it is in a building managed by a strata company or body corporate. Unfortunately this is not the case for a number of reasons:

  • Strata management companies focus on compliance with Building Fire Regulations from a 'whole building perspective' (e.g. Fire doors, stairs, exit lights, fire hose reels etc) rather than smoke alarms legislation on an individual property level. They often just take a sample of apartments and aren't required to check every individual property. If you are a landlord, this does not cover your responsibility to maintain the smoke alarms in your rental property.
  • Strata companies only conduct maintenance every 12 months and will not come back during the year to deal with individual problems, or changes of tenancy if your property is tenanted. Legislation stipulates that smoke alarms must be checked at every new tenancy agreement.
  • Strata companies are not anywhere near as stringent in their maintenance of smoke alarms, often skipping key maintenance procedures such as the cleaning of the alarm, changing the battery and ensuring the alarm unit has not passed its expiry date.
  • Strata companies do not issue individual certificates of compliance.

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Following the implementation of the new Smoke Alarms Legislation, our agency employed a number of contractors, including Smoke Alarms Australia to carry out the required servicing of alarms on our managed properties. Due to their level of service and the peace of mind they provide our agency and our owners, they are now the only smoke alarm servicing contractor we use and recommend. Their reliability and excellent communication makes this part of the job easy and hassle free!

Amanda Burnett
First National Real Estate Biloela

© 2016 Smoke Alarms Australia

Email Bookings -- Telephone Sales & Bookings 1300 125 276 -- Fax 1300 305 225

PO Box 1531 Neutral Bay NSW 2089

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