Since 1997 it has been law, under the Building Code of Australia (BCA), to install mains powered smoke alarms in new properties and any existing properties that have undergone significant renovations.
From 1 October 2009 mains powered smoke alarms must be fitted in all existing residential buildings prior to sale and when a new tenancy agreement is signed for rental properties. If there are no tenancy changes in rental properties, then mains powered smoke alarms must be fitted by 1 October 2011.
These requirements are mandatory under the Local Government (Miscellaneous provisions) Act 1960 section 248 and the Local Government Act 1995 section 9.60, and the Building Amendments Regulations 2009.
Smoke alarms save lives and should be tested regularly to ensure that if there is a fire in your home that the smoke alarm will be triggered.
To maintain your smoke alarm you should test it each month, keep it clear of dust and cobwebs and change the battery once a year. We would suggest changing it at the same time each years such as, at the start of daylight saving so that it becomes a habit. Your smoke alarm should also be replaced every 10 years.
Smoke alarms for residential homes can be battery operated or hardwired with a back up battery. The Smoke Alarms can be connected to your Security Alarm, the benefit of having your Smoke Alarm linked to your Security Alarm panel is that you can be notified of the smoke alarm activation. This is done in one of two ways, either via your mobile phone or by a central control room. You will require some programming on your alarm to enable it to send the notifications to your mobile phone. If you prefer to be contact by a person who can act on your instructions and send a patrol car should you be unavailable then you will require your Alarm to be monitored, this is a small cost of $1 a day.
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