From 1 January 2017
Landlords are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms that comply with new Smoke Alarm legislation, introduced on 1 January, 2017.
Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago, as well as any smoke alarms that do not operate when tested, must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms that comply with Australian Standard 3786–2014. All smoke alarms should be interconnected within the dwelling.
Any person can legally install a battery powered smoke alarm. However, 240-volt smoke alarms connect to the electricity supply and must be connected by a licenced electrician. For more information read the Smoke Alarm Installation Information Sheet.
Testing and cleaning smoke alarms
Within 30 days before the start of a tenancy in a domestic dwelling, the lessor/landlord must test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling.
During a tenancy in a domestic dwelling, the tenant must test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling, at least once every 12 months.
To test a smoke alarm, press the ‘test’ button. Cleaning should be done according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which is usually vacuuming.
You do not need to be qualified or licenced to clean or test a domestic smoke alarm.
Some real estate agents may outsource smoke alarm maintenance to another company with associated fees paid by the landlord. The real estate may request a “certificate of compliance” from these companies as proof of service. This is not a legal requirement but may be part of the real estate agent’s internal process.