BY DAVID GARWOOD
Every time we see on the Today show the latest house fire we probably ask ourselves “Is our home safe?”. In fact, we should not be waiting for the latest tragedy – act now!
Legislation was passed as an amendment to the Fire and Emergency Services Act (QLD) 1990 and came into effect on January 1, 2017. Firstly, I will say that it is complicated, and if you would like we can supply you with the full legal requirements for your property – simply email or call me.
However, in summary:
Old smoke alarms worked on the ionisation principle, detecting changes in the air composition. However, they tend to be slow to react, especially with smouldering fires which generate smoke, usually the silent killer. The new smoke alarms work on the photo electric principle – far faster and more reliable.
Do I need to change my existing ionisation smoke alarm? Legally no, unless it is 10 years old or more, or does not function correctly when tested. You can go to Bunnings and buy a compliant new photo-electric detector from the ludicrously low price of $29.95 with a 10-year life lithium battery! Why would you risk it? This simply screws to the ceiling and can be legally installed by yourself.
Your next key date (if a private residence) is not until January 1 2027 when basically, your property must be protected to the level of a rental property or a property being sold (for which the key date is January 1 2022).
So, the new requirement to come into effect on these key dates is that:
1. All alarms must be photoelectric
2. Must be either hardwired or fitted with a 10-year lithium battery
3. Be interconnected, either by hard wire or wireless, so that if one goes off, they all go off.
For rental or selling properties there are other criteria, and there are specific prescribed locations and numbers required, and hard-wired systems must be installed by a licenced electrician. So ask us for the fact sheet so that you can determine your specific needs. We are instigating for all our managements that the alarms are regularly and professionally maintained. Apart from the threat to life, can you imagine the possible legal consequences of non-compliance??
Talk again next week,
UPCOMING OPEN HOUSE:
ADDRESS: Unit 7/263 Edwards St, Sunshine Beach
INSPECT: Saturday 3 August from 10.00am – 10.30am
OFFERS: Over $275,000
CONTACT: Garwoods Estate Agents – 0408 710 373