Understanding compliance is not easy. It can be complex; however, at SAA, we have the knowledge and experience you can trust to get the job done right. We service to the standards of the Building Code of Australia as well as to legislative requirements. We are proudly associated with the Fire Protection Association Australia. Agents, landlords, and tenants all have questions about their responsibilities or what happens in each service.

Don't let the minefield confuse you. Many questions are answered below, but contact us if the answer to your question is not there. Our team is always happy to help.

Where can I find my Business Development Managers details?

Log into our partner portal and navigate to the contact us section. Their contacts details will be there.

I need more landlord brochures or other collateral? How do I go about getting some?

You can either call your BDM, send us an email or log on to the customer portal and navigate to the collateral section.

I want to set up data syncing. How do I go about that?

Contact us and we will guide you through the set up process. Its quick, easy and very secure.

Do you have the right insurance?

Yes - SAA has worked with its insurer, to not only cover workmanship but also product. This means that SAA takes responsibility for the workmanship and labour associated with its services, giving your landlords peace of mind, reducing potential financial risk. The benefit is, if, in the event of a critical failure attributed to an SAA installed alarm or battery, SAA maintains liability to cover damages to the value of $20M AUD.

How can I manage risk in my portfolio?

SAA works with your agency to manage the risk associated with smoke alarms in your area.  SAA has a range of tools that can help your agency understand its potential risk.  Your BDM will work with you to show pockets of risk and then can help manage the process to increase your alarm coverage.

Am I legally required to have a professional company manage my smoke alarms?

No, but you are legally required to ensure smoke alarms are functioning correctly at the commencement of each and every tenancy. To do this, the alarm must be fully tested with artificial smoke and the expiry dates need to be checked.

What is the cost of the service?

No matter how many alarms you need, the services have fixed flat pricing. SAA offers a transparent pricing structure. There are no hidden fees or extra costs at any point in the year unless extra hard-wired alarms need to be installed or are requested.  In that case, they are $144 each, otherwise, it's our standard fee. 

What does the subscription include?

A subscription is inclusive of:

  • 12 months cover under the industry-leading Product and Workmanship Insurance ($20M)
  • Unlimited service calls within the subscription period (including tenancy change inspections)
  • CSIRO tested photoelectric alarms compliant to Australian Standard 3786:2014
  • Comprehensive inspection and testing of the alarms with artificial smoke
  • No extra charge for replacement or additional 9 volt battery alarms
  • No extra charge for replacing 240volt hardwired alarms
  • Replacement batteries for all alarms on every visit
  • All alarm data provided on inspection reports issued after every service
  • Automatic renewal of subscriptions to ensure continuous cover
  • All jobs booked directly with tenant by trained SAA bookings coordinators
  • Invoice and service reports after each visit
  • Beeping alarm support (24x7)

Doesn’t my Strata company look after my smoke alarms?

Landlords have responsibilities regarding smoke alarms.  The new legislation in NSW regarding properties under strata are exempt from these regulations only if the owner’s corporation takes full responsibility for the repair and replacement of the alarms and the tenant has been provided with that information in writing. A copy of that report will also need to be held at your agency in case of dispute with the tenant.

Strata is responsible for ensuring that the property meets the requirements of the local council fire order for all units whether they are tenanted or not.  Strata does not normally distinguish rental properties,  to make them compliant to the building code and the residential tenancies act. They must ensure that there are enough alarms, in the right locations according to the building code or that each alarm is functioning at the change of tenancy. 

What type of alarms do Smoke Alarms Australia use?

SAA only install photoelectric smoke alarms – the type of alarm recommended by all Australian fire authorities. A mix of hard wired,  battery, or RF alarms in QLD, will be used within your property depending on the layout and requirements of the Building Code of Australia.

How do I tell if my alarm is hard-wired or battery?

If your alarm is hard wired it will have a green light emitting from the alarm. If it is battery powered there will not be a light as this will drain the battery and reduce the life of the battery. 

How often do the smoke alarms need to be replaced?

Regular testing of the smoke alarms helps determine how often they need to be replaced. Annual testing means that we check that the alarm functions and it is not past its expiry date. All alarms have a 10-year life and need to be changed out after 10 years. If the alarm does not respond to the testing process, we will replace it as part of the service we provide.

What happens when a SAA representative enters my property?

  • They will locate, inspect, and test existing alarms in the property with artificial smoke
  • If the testing fails, or if the alarms are due to expire, SAA will replace alarms like for like.
  • Make sure that alarms are in the correct location and are compliant with the Building Code of Australia
  • Return to install any additional alarms that are necessary to make the property compliant with the legislation upon authorisation from the owner
  • Issue the agent with a certificate of compliance

Why does my alarm need to be moved?

The Building Code of Australia has some clear guidelines on where alarms need to be positioned.  Sometimes alarms are installed in dead air space when they were first installed. This is an area where trapped air will prevent smoke from reaching the alarm.  Alarms cannot be in dead air space.  As the building code evolves there may be changes needed to where your smoke alarms are located.

Each time I cook the alarm goes off! Why does that happen?

Sometimes alarms are too close to the kitchen and if you have some smoke or excess steam coming from what you are cooking it will enter the chamber of the smoke alarm that detects smoke, and it will then set the alarm off.  If the alarm goes off, the best thing you can do is to force air through the path of the alarm to clear it.  You can do this by fanning the alarm.  Do not use devices like hair dryers, heat guns or aerosol sprays to move the air as that could damage the alarm.   If it continues to chirp contact us and we will get a technician back to re-assess it for you. If it continues to alarm, contact us and our team can help you disarm it.

How many alarms are you supposed to have by law?

One as a minimum. There is no hard and fast rule as to how many as it depends on the layout of the property and the state you live in.  In QLD you need to have alarms in each bedroom, and they must be interconnected, so if one goes off, they all do.  The rules for how many you have in other states depend on the layout of the property.

Why do alarms have a battery?

The battery in a battery powered alarm supplies the power for the alarm to function. Without a battery your alarms would not work. Hard wired alarms have a battery backup in case the power is cut to the alarm in instances of a blackout. All alarms must have a power source of some kind.

What are your working hours?

Our office is open from 8:30am to 7:00pm AEST, Monday to Friday and 8:30am to 12:00 noon on Saturdays. Our technicians are booked from 6:30am to 5:00pm weekdays with some availability on Saturdays depending on your area.

Is it a mandatory service by law?

All rental properties are required by law to have working smoke alarms. This means they need to be tested at least once per year, so that if there is a fire, they alert you or your family to take-action. They also should have the batteries replaced annually and make sure there is nothing that is obstructing the laser in the alarm.

Is there any out-of-hours support?

Yes.  We have an industry-leading service for beeping alarms. Tenants can contact us directly on a property registered with SAA. Inside business hours you can simply call our customer service team. Outside business hours, we have a dedicated line that you can call to get help on silencing a beeping alarm. In either instance, we work to troubleshoot, and if unable to resolve, we will send a technician as soon as possible. 

How long does the battery last or how often does the battery need to be changed?

Different alarm types have different battery life.  Some alarms have a 10-year lithium battery which means if the alarm does not pass the function test, it would be replaced.  If your alarm is a hard-wired or battery alarm, battery life varies which is why we replace batteries every year. 

How do you know if the battery is faulty or flat?

If your alarm is a battery alarm, the alarm may chirp every minute or so for about 20 minutes, then it will generally stop.  Some alarms have a 10-year lithium battery, which means it cannot be replaced.  If the lithium alarm does not respond to the testing process, your whole alarm is replaced.  If your alarm is hard-wired the battery is there to provide backup in case, there is no power.  This means if the power is cut, the alarm will still sound alerting your family. 

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