Firstly, the obligation to keep smoke alarms clean and tested regularly is shared between both the landlord and the tenant. The legislation clearly states these two points:
1. Within 30 days prior to the start of a tenancy agreement the landlord must test and clean the alarms.
2. During a tenancy the tenant must test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling at least once every 12 months.
As rental properties must comply with smoke alarm legislation in order to be leased the looming legislation changes present a financial risk to landlords and property managers. Landlords must ensure they upgrade their property prior to 1st January 2022. As this deadline gets closer companies providing smoke alarm installation services will have fuller schedules.
Many rental properties have alarms located without a roof cavity or in ceilings that create complications with wiring. There will be many properties that will require alarms with wireless interconnection in order to comply with the new legislation.
Certain alarm manufacturers offer high quality alarms that can operate as a system with a combination of these capabilities: Mains powered, lithium powered, wired interconnection and wireless interconnection. Brooks and Clipsal both offer alarms with this capability.
Some alarm models only interconnect with other specific alarm models. It is not uncommon for a smoke alarm to become faulty within its 10-year lifespan. When installing new alarms, it is a good idea to think ahead and ensure faulty alarms can easily be replaced without compromising the interconnected system. You need to ensure that 7 years from now, you will be able to purchase an alarm that integrates with your system.