Is your smoke alarm up to date?
Western Australia’s Building Regulations require the owner of a dwelling to have compliant smoke alarms installed in their property.
According to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, owners who rent or hire a dwelling are required by law to maintain the smoke alarms. This includes ensuring the smoke alarm:
- is in working order;
- is permanently connected to mains power;
- is less than 10 years old, or has not reached its expiry date if one is provided on the alarm; and
- if the use of a battery powered smoke alarm has been approved under the Regulations, the alarm has a 10-year life battery that cannot be removed.
How to maintain smoke alarms
For smoke alarms to remain in working order they should be tested and maintained regularly. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services recommends the following maintenance routine:
- Testing once per month to ensure the battery and the alarm sounder are operating.
- Check the smoke alarm for any build-up of dust and cobwebs and clean with a vacuum cleaner at least every six months.
- Vacuum with a soft brush attachment around the smoke alarm vents.
- Use a surface insect spray around the smoke alarm to prevent insects nesting inside.
- Replacing batteries annually (mains powered smoke alarms generally have back-up batteries).
- Smoke alarms should never be painted.
Are there penalties for noncompliance?
Yes, local governments have the power under the Building Act 2011 and the Regulations to either issue an infringement notice or prosecute an owner who fails to have compliant smoke alarms installed prior to selling, transferring ownership, renting or hiring the dwelling. A penalty of $5,000 applies for owners who fail to comply.
For more information, visit: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/atoms/files/dp0457_smoke_alarm_laws_fs_july_2018.pdf