July 5, 2022

Winter’s increased fire risks: working smoke alarms help keep tenants safe!

It's that time of year: as the temperature drops, the risk of house fires increases.  Tenants are more likely to be at home, and greater use of heaters, electric blankets and dryers means greater risks to properties and people. 

Smoke alarms play a crucial role in fire safety. The likelihood of a tenant surviving a housefire doubles when the property has working smoke alarms. 

Did you know?  
More than 50 percent of the properties we service for the first time do not meet smoke alarm compliance requirements. 

   Some common reasons for a property being deemed non-compliant include: 

  • Having an expired smoke alarm – smoke alarms must be replaced every 10 years, 
  • A faulty smoke alarm,  
  • A missing smoke alarm, or 
  • A smoke alarm that has been damaged or tampered with.   

The kitchen is a key danger zone 

Various fire services across Australia report that 40 percent of house fires are caused by occupants leaving cooking unattended. In a busy household, it’s easy to get distracted and a simple phone call can be all it takes to forget what is on the stove.  A smoke alarm is never distracted. 

"You saved my mother's life. She was cooking and got distracted, the smoke alarm going off saved her" – feedback from a client who recently had smoke alarms installed by SAA.     

The risk increases after lights out 

Although fires can happen at any time, the greatest risk to life is overnight while we are asleep. This is because while we sleep, our sense of smell is dormant, so we are unlikely to smell the smoke until it’s too late.  For this reason, a working smoke alarm is crucial to provide occupants with as much notice as possible to escape. In rental properties Australia-wide, it’s not only a safety requirement but also a legal requirement of landlords.   

How property managers can help their landlords fulfil their obligations 

Landlords with rental properties have greater responsibility to ensure their property has working smoke alarms.  Legislation under the Rental Tenancies Act and / or requirements under the Building Code of Australia have been put in place to help prevent tragic outcomes in the event of a fire. Additionally, in some states, fines also apply for landlords where a property is non-compliant.   

Landlords and property managers can rest easy knowing they meet their duty of care and are managing risk when they sign on to Smoke Alarms Australia’s annual subscription program. Once you have signed up, we manage the rest!  It’s set and forget.  Peace of mind for less than the price of a cup of coffee a fortnight.   


Licence - NSW 225414C, VIC 24374, ACT 2014903, QLD 73281, WA EC011144
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