Ringing Alarms: Knowing your rights as a tenant for fire safety - Salt 106.5

Ringing Alarms: Knowing your rights as a tenant for fire safety

There are around 17,900 house fires each year in Australia, with at least 900 people dying in preventable residential fires over a 15-year time span.

Listen: Mark Landsberg from Brooks Australia joins Salt 106.5's Steve D to chat fire safety and your home.

By Natalie BennettFriday 1 Sep 2023The Long Lunch with SteveSponsoredReading Time: 2 minutes

A smoke alarm provides a critical early warning to give you and your loved ones time to escape but they cannot protect your loved ones if they’re not working, which is why it is vital to make sure they are properly tested and maintained.

For months, rental markets across Australia have witnessed ultra-low vacancy rates and steeply increasing rents. The escalating demand for rentals has led to concerns about the adequacy of safety measures, especially smoke alarms.

While Queensland has the most stringent laws for smoke alarms in the country (with 98% of households having them installed) only three-quarters (76%) had been tested or maintained in a 12-month period from 2021 to 2022. While fire authorities recommend testing smoke alarms once a month, just half (57%) Aussie renters admit to doing so.

Smoke alarms are the most important residential fire safety device. But new research from Brooks Australia shows that one in two (57%) Aussie renters test and clean their smoke alarms. Shockingly, this comes as one in ten (10%) don’t know if the smoke alarms in their rental property work or are compliant.

Different Australian states and territories have varying regulations regarding maintaining and testing smoke alarms for property managers, owners, and tenants. While some states put an emphasis on tenants to test and clean smoke alarms at least once every 12 months, in others the responsibility falls on landlords for the exact same procedure.

Brooks Australia is encouraging all Aussies to remain vigilant and ensure that their rental is equipped with functional smoke alarms to protect themselves and their loved ones. To find out the legislation for your state, you can head to brooks.com.au/smoke-alarm-legislation/

Listen to full conversation with Mark Landsberg from Brooks Australia in the player above. 

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About Brooks Australia

Brooks Australia is a market leader in dry fire safety systems and solutions since its founding 45 years ago and was acquired in December 2022 by Irish company Ei Electronics. Recognised as a leader in the public housing sector, Brooks has developed and supplied an array of high quality, reliable products based on their knowledge and expertise to help safeguard families with their residential and commercial fire panel systems.

About the Research & Citations

The research by Identilab was carried out on a national representative sample of 1005 Australians aged 18 and over in July 2023. Methodology: The data sample was weighted against ABS data for age, gender and location using an online survey that is independently conducted and verified PureProfile.

  1. https://www.bnhcrc.com.au/publications/biblio/bnh-5807
  2. https://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/gallery/files/pdf/research/Fire%20research%20report%20%20Smoke%20Alarms%20in%20Homes%20An%20Analysis.pdf
  3. https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/during-a-tenancy/maintenance-and-repairs/smoke-alarms
  4. https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/housing/renting/repairs-alterations-safety-and-pets/keeping-the-property-safe/smoke-alarms-and-fire-safety
  5. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/housing/housing-occupancy-and-costs/2019-20