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:
- Annual testing by pressing the test button
- Backup battery changes
- Vacuuming to remove dust and insects
- Replacement of faulty smoke detectors
- Replacement of smoke detectors that are older than 10 years
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.
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:
|Annual during lease||Y||Y||Tenant|
|When chirping||Y||Tenant / Landlord|
And this is what is recommended by fire authorities and rental bodies:
|Monthly during lease||Y||Tenant|
|Annual during lease||Y||Y||Y||Landlord|
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.