Did you remember to check your smoke alarms when daylight finished recently? This key annual date is a good reminder to test your smoke alarm systems in readiness for Winter.
Homeowners often forget about their first line of defence in the event of a house fire – their smoke alarms. When it comes to protecting your family home, there’s nothing you wouldn’t do, but in the daily pace of living, this small maintenance step is often overlooked. While the best-case scenario is that you’ll never need one, it’s far better to have a properly installed alarm ready to protect your home should the unthinkable occur. Building Inspectors can check if your alarm meets Australian standards.
Smoke Alarm Legislation in Victoria
Smoke alarms are compulsory in every home. Since 1 August 1997, Victorian law states that smoke alarms (complying with Australian standards AS 3786) must be installed in all homes, units, flats and townhouses. It is the legal responsibility of all owners and landlords to install working smoke alarms.
Residential homes constructed before 1st August 1997 need only 9 volt battery powered smoke alarms installed. Residential homes constructed after 1st August 1997 must have smoke alarms connected to 240 volt mains power. In addition a backup battery must be installed in the smoke alarm.
Keeping Your Home and Family Fire Safe with Smoke Alarms
While smoke alarms are legally required and regulated, it’s vital to ensure proper placement for optimal safety and warning time. The Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade recommends photo-electrical alarms which have been wired into the power supply for optimal warning time and protection.
Because the recommendations for smoke alarm type and placement can be quite complex, it’s always a good idea to have your existing system evaluated by a professional Building Inspector. If you’re considering the purchase of a new home, renovating your current dwelling or having a new property built, a Building Inspector can be an invaluable resource for fire alarm inspection, evaluation and placement advice.
Don’t let your home or investment go up in smoke. Compliance with legal smoke alarm requirements is not only the smart thing to do in the eyes of the law, but the best way to protect everything you hold dear. If you’re not sure about your fire alarms or are assuming responsibility for a new property, be sure you secure an inspection which includes careful evaluation of all existing smoke alarm types, placement and condition.