A common misconception is that all “smoke alarms” are the same, well this is very wrong and let me explain.
Although the end result is somewhat similar the detection of the smoke is done that same way what they do when they detector smoke is where the main difference is.
Smoke alarms are installed in your house and they are a complete unit that detect the smoke and then if required they make the sound that alerts you to the smoke so that you can take action.
Fire occurring at night can steal the oxygen we need to breathe, as it produces toxic carbon monoxide gas. This can lead to a deep and deadly slumber that could be irreversible. House fires cause death more than all natural disasters combined in some countries. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, there’s an inexpensive and very reliable way of detecting fires: the electronic smoke detector.
What is the law when it comes to having a smoke alarm in your house?
The law overview
Under Clause 146A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and Division 7A of Part 9 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, smoke alarms are required in all buildings in NSW where people sleep. The smoke alarms must meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS 3786, Smoke alarms. These provisions came into effect on 1 May 2006.
The legislation provides for a minimum level of protection. The Fire & Rescue NSW supports this legislation and recommends that owners and occupants consider higher levels of protection than the minimum requirements.
Smoke alarms law for homeowners
By law, you should have at least one working smoke alarm installed on every level of your home. This applies to owner occupied homes, rental properties, relocatable homes, caravans and camper-vans or any other residential building where people sleep.
It’s up to you to protect your family and your home.
Smoke alarms law for tenants
Your landlord is responsible for ensuring your residency meets the minimal requirements of having at least one working smoke alarm installed on every level of your home.
Landlords are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms in rented premises.
Landlords have the right of access to rented premises to fit smoke alarms after giving the tenant at least two day’s notice.
After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery if needed in battery-operated smoke alarms. Hard-wired smoke alarm back-up batteries are to be replaced by the landlord.
If the tenant is physically unable to change the battery the tenant is required to notify the landlord as soon as practicable.
Smoke alarms law for landlords
Neither the landlord nor the tenant are, except with reasonable excuse, permitted to remove or interfere with the operation of a smoke alarm fitted in the rented premises.
Where a smoke alarm is of the type that has a replaceable battery, the landlord must put a new battery in at the commencement of a tenancy.
After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery if needed. However, if the tenant is physically unable to change the battery the tenant is required to notify the landlord as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need for it to be replaced.
The tenant is not responsible for the replacement of batteries in ‘hard-wired’ smoke alarm systems that have battery back-up. This is the responsibility of the landlord.
The condition report section of the tenancy agreement must include a specific reference to smoke alarms so that tenants and landlords are able to note and comment on the presence of smoke alarms at the beginning and end of the tenancy.
Owners of residential properties who rent out their premises as holiday accommodation are responsible for installing smoke alarms and replacing batteries.
Other laws apply to boarding houses and backpackers.
Smoke detectors are part of a smoke detection system, these systems have a Fire Indicator panel and the smoke detector send a signal to this panel and then the panel does what it is programmed to do.
These Fire Panels are usually found in commercial buildings however they are becoming more commonly found in residential unit blocks and these smoke detectors are found in the common areas like hallways and stairwells.
For more information on this type of smoke detection system please refer to our web page System design and Installation