Who is Responsible For Smoke Alarms in Strata Units?

Firstly, let’s recognise the value of a working smoke alarm—it’s a lifesaver. Literally, in an unfortunate fire incident, your chance of survival doubles with a functioning smoke alarm. In fact, most household fires start in the kitchen, often due to unattended cooking. So, you can see how crucial these alarms are. Since March 23, 2020, landlords and agents in NSW must ensure that smoke alarms in strata rental units are in optimum condition. Therefore, it becomes necessary to ask an important question—who is responsible for maintaining smoke alarms in strata properties?

Tenant Requirements For Smoke Alarms in Strata

The duty of installing, replacing, and maintaining smoke alarms in individual units falls on the property owner. Not only this, but they must also replace batteries and conduct an annual alarm test. So, if a tenant discovers that the smoke alarm is not working or the battery needs replacement, they should immediately notify the landlord or agent.

However, when the smoke alarm is a common property, and it is on the annual fire safety schedule, the Owners Corporation takes charge. Plus, they ensure the alarm is tested yearly during the fire certification process.

In addition, it’s worth noting that any individual lot owner who fails to replace their smoke alarm after its expiry date does not impact the Owners Corporation’s strata insurance. Here, the liability firmly rests with the individual owner.

Landlord and Agent Responsibilities for Smoke Alarms

If a smoke alarm fails to work, the landlord or agent must repair it within two days. This timeframe also extends to battery replacement. Apart from this, they need to verify the functionality of smoke alarms each year. They are also obliged to replace smoke alarms within ten years of their manufacture or earlier if advised by the manufacturer.

To check if a smoke alarm requires repair or replacement, landlords and agents must give tenants at least two business days’ notice.

Owners Corporation’s Requirements

The responsibility of installing, replacing, and maintaining all smoke alarms within the common areas lies with the Owners Corporation. Moreover, they must regularly test batteries and replace the complete smoke alarm every ten years.

Final Thoughts: Protecting Your Property and Tenants

Keeping your property safe involves a collective effort. Therefore, regular checks of your smoke alarms throughout the year by all responsible parties are paramount. After all, following these simple steps can save lives.

Want to learn more about smoke alarms in your strata property? Don’t hesitate to contact our team at Harbour Fire & Security today.

Tags: annual alarm inspections, fire regulations, fire safety, smoke alarms, strata properties
Who is Responsible For Smoke Alarms in Strata Units

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