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SMOKE ALARM LEGISLATION IN RENTAL PROPERTIES
By: Annoymous
October 13, 2021

From 29th March 2021, all Victorian homes must have smoke alarms. Rental providers (landlords) must make sure that smoke alarms are properly installed and working. Renters should make sure that they continue to operate and tell their rental provider if they stop working, if the smoke alarms stop working or need replacing this is classed as urgent repair and must be attended to immediately. 

If a rental provider cannot be contacted or does not immediately fix the smoke alarm, the renter or resident can authorise and pay for an urgent repair of up to $2,500. The rental provider must pay them back within seven days  

All buildings built after 1 August 1997 must have hard-wired smoke alarms with a battery back-up. Buildings built before that date can have a battery-powered smoke alarm.   

Where do the alarms need to be installed?

Each storey of a property, In hallways that connect bedrooms and the rest of the house The entry and exit points of a house each bedroom If there are no bedrooms on a storey then at least one alarm should be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

Why do bedrooms need an alarm?

The alarms are required in the bedroom so that if a door is closed the occupant will still be able to hear the alarms and have that early detection to escape.

What if my property is two storeys or more?

A wireless Bluetooth device commonly called a Home base will need to be installed, this allows all the alarms on all levels to be interconnected.

Why do they need to be interconnected?

This means when one alarm is triggered they will all go off. So, it won’t matter where you are in the house. Interconnected alarms are critical for an early warning and quick escape. 

Do all smoke alarms have to be replaced?

Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago will have to be replaced with a photoelectric alarm. Existing hardwired alarms that aren’t photoelectric have to be replaced as well.

Can anyone install the new alarms?

Any person can legally install a battery powered alarm. However, the 240 Volt photoelectric alarms need to be connected to an electricity supply and must be connected by a licensed electrician.

Why a photoelectric alarm?

When you sleep your sense of smell also sleeps. If a fire starts toxic fumes can overcome you, photoelectric alarms see smoke and can alert you early, so you have more chance to escape.

How often do smoke alarms need to be tested?

This is required once each year.

How much will this cost?

Speak with your current property manager and they will be able to guide you of any companies they regularly use who offer subscription services, which are great as it is a set and forget service. 


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