Smoke Alarm Servicing

Local laws specify residential smoke alarm servicing. In particular, the laws relate to home owners, landlords and tenants. Also, they reference and therefore empower the instructions detailed in the manufacturers user manual.

How to service a smoke alarm

Servicing a smoke alarm normally involves the following tasks:

Owner occupiers

The home owner normally takes responsibility for the above tasks. However, they are not always performed correctly or sometimes, not at all. Consequently, incorrectly maintaining detectors represents a genuine safety risk.

Rental properties

Similarly, detectors in rental properties undergo the same maintenance activities. However, task responsibilities are shared between tenants and landlords. So, who is responsible for what tasks? A review of residential tenancy laws revealed the following general legal responsibilities:

WhenCleanTestRecord
Event
Battery
Replace
By
Lease startYYYLandlord
Annual during leaseYYTenant
When dirtyYTenant
When chirpingYTenant / Landlord

And this is what is recommended by fire authorities and rental bodies:

WhenCleanTestRecord
Event
Battery
Replace
By
Monthly during leaseYTenant
Annual during leaseYYYLandlord

So, the landlord (or landlord’s agent) should be involved:

  • At the start of the lease to clean, test and record the maintenance event
  • When requested by the tenant to change batteries
  • Annually, to record that the alarms are clean and work OK

And, the tenant should be involved:

  • Annually, to clean, test and report that the alarms are clean and work OK
  • When required, to clean the alarm
  • Monthly, to test the alarm
Smart smoke alarm

Some of the above maintenance tasks have been automated or minimised by smart smoke alarms.

So, if you want to increase safety, save money and simplify detector maintenance take a look at SmokeSight.

Published by Chris Devine

Chris is a Registered Practising Engineer of Queensland - RPEQ. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Associate Diploma of Electrical Engineering and is an Electrician.