Feeling the chill? It’s time to prioritise Smoke Alarm safety

As temperatures drop and winter settles in, Australians seek warmth and comfort by turning on their heating appliances. Unfortunately, this increase in energy usage and an uptick in cooking at home to warm up often coincides with a rise in fire-related incidents and claims.

According to the Insurance Council of Australia, the risk of fire-related incidents in the home jumps 15% in winter compared to autumn.

Many insurers see increased fire claims from autumn to winter, with the leading cause of fires related to cooking and the prevalence of heating appliance and fireplace-related issues increasing.

Three people have died in house fires in NSW since the start of June, according to Fire and Rescue NSW. The death of an older man occurred in Johns River, on the state’s mid-coast last week, and it followed the deaths of two women in separate blazes at Orange and Sydney’s Ryde earlier this month.

A Warning from Authorities

Fire Rescue NSW Superintendent Adam Dewberry said the tragedy of these deaths should serve as a reminder to prioritise fire safety in the colder months.

“Winter is usually when our firefighters respond to more house fires and, unfortunately, more fire-related deaths and injuries,” he said.

“It is devastating and impacts so many people, including the victims’ families and friends, our firefighters and the broader community. Please make today the day you prioritise thinking about how you can make yourself and your loved ones safer in your home and protected against fire.”

Following a recent incident, during which a family was successfully evacuated from a house fire, he said it was “the second fire in two days where a working smoke alarm has notified the occupants of a fire in their home. In both incidents, the occupants have been able to evacuate to safety without injury.

“We know working smoke alarms save lives and prevent serious injury. Working smoke alarms provided these occupants with an early notification of the fire, enabling them to move to safety in time. It only takes a matter of minutes for a fire to take hold in a home. Fires produce large volumes of deadly and toxic smoke, and it is this smoke that usually kills people in home fires”.

To protect your property and ensure the safety of your tenants, prioritising your smoke alarm’s maintenance and functionality is crucial. Property Services 360, a leader in the property compliance industry, is dedicated to providing up-to-date information and ensuring the safety of rental homes across Sydney.

Life-Saving Devices:

Smoke alarms are not just mandatory devices; they are life-saving tools that can make a significant difference during a fire emergency. They serve as an early warning system, alerting occupants to the presence of smoke or fire. By providing timely detection, smoke alarms grant valuable seconds to evacuate and minimise the potential for injuries or fatalities.

Increased Fire Hazards in Winter:

As the mercury drops, households rely more heavily on heating appliances to keep warm. These devices, from electric heaters to fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, can pose fire hazards if not used and maintained correctly. Malfunctioning or poorly maintained heating appliances can lead to electrical faults, gas leaks, or the build-up of flammable materials. A working smoke alarm can quickly detect any smoke or fire resulting from these hazards, allowing occupants to act and prevent a disaster immediately.

Compliance and Legal Requirements:

Ensuring the functionality and compliance of smoke alarms is not just a matter of personal safety but also a legal obligation. Australian legislation mandates that all residential properties, including rental properties, must have working smoke alarms installed. Property owners are responsible for maintaining smoke alarms in good working order and Landlords must take even more robust measures to fulfil their duty of care to tenants and comply with Tenancy Regulations regarding to their installation, ongoing testing, and maintenance. By staying compliant with these regulations, you safeguard lives and fulfil your legal obligations.

Regular Maintenance and Testing:

Like any other electronic device, smoke alarms require regular maintenance and testing to ensure their effectiveness. With the arrival of winter, it is essential that your smoke alarm service is up to date. As well as stringent testing, batteries should be changed annually and alarms replaced after 10 years, or as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re not sure what the requirements are of your specific model, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to give you a hand!

Professional Assistance:

Property Services 360, as a leader in the rental compliance industry, offers expert smoke alarm services, including installation, inspection, maintenance, and compliance auditing. Our trained professionals can assess your rental properties smoke alarms, provide necessary repairs or replacements, and ensure that your property meets all legal requirements as a Landlord.

As winter arrives and the use of heating appliances becomes more frequent, it is crucial to prioritise the functionality and maintenance of your properties smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are not only life-saving devices, but they also ensure compliance with legal requirements.

By regularly testing and maintaining your smoke alarms, you can protect your property and ensure your tenant safety from fire-related incidents. Property Services 360, with its commitment to safety and compliance, offers expert assistance to ensure your smoke alarms are in optimal working condition. Stay safe and enjoy a warm and worry-free winter season!

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