Smoke alarm

Is your smoke alarm out of date?

We’ve talked about smoke alarms and RCDs before. But there is one more important point to emphasise: the age of your smoke alarms.

As stated by FESA:

All smoke alarms should be installed in compliance with Australian Standards 3786 and must be changed every 10 years.

And the fine for non-compliance? Up to $5,000.

In addition, ignoring the importance of regularly checking your smoke alarms can adversely impact the sale of your home. Just ask Mr Jones*, who mistakenly sold his character home with non-compliant smoke alarms; although he had the correct number, the devices were over ten years old.

The buyers didn’t become aware of the unsuitable smoke alarms until they called in an electrician to do some basic maintenance work – but when they did find out, they were far from happy. Having had some other hiccups with the purchase of the property, they were not enamoured with Mr Jones, and are considering their options.

FESA advises that buyers of a property in this situation can:

  • Contact the seller and ask them to rectify the situation,
  • Install the smoke alarms to meet requirements, then recover reasonable costs in court from the previous owner, and/or
  • Alert local government, who can issue an infringement notice or take action to prosecute.

Avoid fines, prosecution, and angry buyers – if you are selling a home, double check that the smoke alarms have been installed correctly and are less than ten years old.

Image by Grant Bierman via Flickr.

* Name changed