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10 yr smoke alarm

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Fernfurn, 6th Jul, 2015.

  1. Fernfurn

    Fernfurn Active Member

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    Available from Bunnings. Quell /Chubb 'Worry Free" smoke alarm with a 10 year battery and a 10 year warranty. Worth it not to have to pay the smoke alarm "check" companies $100 a yr?
     
  2. DaveM

    DaveM Adelaide Buyers Agent & KFC Strategist Business Member

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    Alarms still need to be checked... what if the alarm goes faulty? Good idea if you can get the PM to test the alarm each year though.
     
  3. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    Agree with DaveM. Better to have a paper trail of your intended actions as protection if something goes wrong.
     
  4. Xjas

    Xjas Active Member

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    Not sure which state you're in but in NSW at least it is a requirement for the landlord to install new smoke alarm batteries at the beginning of a tenancy, I assume that applies regardless of what type of battery is fitted originally.
     
  5. Chrispy

    Chrispy Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I put the 10 year smoke alarms in each property but PM warned me I still need to have them checked by a professional each year and recorded that they have been checked. Unfortunately they change the battery each time, which is replacing the 10 year battery!!!!
     
  6. Fernfurn

    Fernfurn Active Member

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    Well that's crazy, you might as well have the cheapest battery possible and a $10 smoke alarm instead of the 10 yr $40 one.
     
  7. S.T

    S.T Well-Known Member

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    There's a combo carbon monoxide/smoke alarm 10 year detector too which is handy. Will fit to my properties with gas appliances soon and just do the yearly checks when I inspect with my can of simulated smoke and self made 'Certificate of Testing'
     
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  8. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like a lawsuit in the making :eek:
     
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  9. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    may be/may be not
     
  10. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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  11. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    If anything bad (fire and/or death or injury) should happen in that house, and the owner has taken on the job of writing out a "self made Certificate of Testing"... I'd like to bet the insurer will wipe the owner like a dirty rag and leave him/her flapping in the breeze.

    If S.T. really thinks that is a good idea, then it is on his/her head. I would never take such a risk. I'd like to think nobody else will decide that is a good idea either.
     
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  12. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    @wylie

    I get our ip smoke alarm checked by professionals for compliance sake.

    I rather not take a risk for $80-$100 a year.
     
  13. S.T

    S.T Well-Known Member

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    @wylie
    I just copied a form that testing companies use. Called it my own certificate, hence the '.'

    Has pretty basic information really, date of test, date alarm expires, date batteries replaced, has been cleaned yes/no has been treated with can of smoke yes/no. Signature of tenant or property manager. Just all the info they charge you $80-100 for.

    I really hope I never have to use it, but I'm also happy I take a documented and thorough approach to making sure my alarms are compliant.
     
  14. Rixter

    Rixter Well-Known Member

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    I think you may find that regulations in some states smoke alarms have to be replaced after 10 years too.
     
  15. Rixter

    Rixter Well-Known Member

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    +1 on that.
     
  16. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok... that sounds much more thorough and less "flippant" than it sounded in your first post (apologies if I sounded alarmed). I also used to test our own alarms in our IPs, fully document it on both the entry condition report, and the lease, both signed off by me and the tenants, and I also used to scratch the date into the battery as a back up.

    A couple of things made me change my mind though. Our son worked at the time for a property management business and he kept pushing for me to cover my backside legally by giving the onus to a company who had their own insurance. A second "aha" moment came with the death of a lady when a deck fell in Brisbane. I know several of the women there that day, and have heard enough to make me think "insurance is very important". I realised that having good insurance for such events is money well spent. The whole smoke alarm checking is a bit of a "grey area" and I'm not prepared to read the paperwork and think "I'll be okay". I've experienced our fine legal system and came out $1M short (different scenario, same sort of people I'd be dealing with in the event of an "event" in one of our houses).

    I'm not prepared to work with what seems to me a very "grey area" regarding what is and isn't covered, and the out of date alarms really made me realise I need a specialist to do this, and that specialist has insurance.

    Once I did get our places checked by a smoke alarm company, it turned out that no matter how thorough I was, at least two houses had smoke alarms past their expiry dates. I didn't even realise they had such things, and in all my checking, had never noticed an expiry date.

    I am certain that had a fire happened in those houses, my insurer would have wiped me. I never want to find out.

    I save thousands per year by self-managing and I do a good job, but this was one of those things I thought was worth paying $70 a year for, tax deductible. I also love not having to lug a ladder over every time a new tenant goes in, and the company has been to some of our places three times per year with different changes that have happened, tenants leaving early etc.

    The only thing I don't like is that I still have to diarise each house and arrange for the company to check the alarm within certain timeframes prior to new leases etc, but that is just good bookkeeping and the same as a property manager must do. I don't have any backup though, or professional indemnity insurance like a PM should have, so it is not entirely risk free.
     
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  17. Investig8

    Investig8 Well-Known Member

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    It's a sad fact, however necessary, we pay for the service just so we can have a 'compliance' certificate in case they ever go up in smoke by accident or on purpose.

    I will admit it's a small cost for creating another 'peace of mind' scenario.
     
  18. Investig8

    Investig8 Well-Known Member

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    It's got me thinking, can I rip the battery out, my wall clock and few other things could use a good dose of battery life at the rate they are going. :D
     
  19. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    Add curtain code /swimming pool compliance certificate to that list.
     
  20. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    With the house we've just rented, we had an agent find us the tenant. She mentioned the timber blinds had cords that needed to be dealt with, so I just cut them off. I didn't even contemplate what I had to do with them to make them comply. I just cut them off. Had we not had to drop the rent to get this tenant, I would have got rid of the timber venetians and replaced them with curtains. The timber blinds make the rooms dark, even when fully open, and are very heavy to be raised, but now I've cut the cords, they are going to be left down and either open or closed.