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WA’s building and electrical safety regulator wants home owners to look up at their smoke alarms this April Fools’ Day, the landmark date for checking the life-saving devices.
Building and Energy says 1 April is a useful reminder for people to push the test button on their smoke alarms while also ensuring they are not more than 10 years old.
“If the smoke alarm has passed its 10-year lifespan, or you can’t find the date, it’s time to replace it to ensure it operates effectively when you need it the most,” Building and Energy Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said.
“The alarm’s sensitivity and functions can decline after 10 years, which could be disastrous in a fire emergency when every second counts.
“The 10-year rule applies to all smoke alarms, including hard-wired models connected to mains power.
“A replacement hard-wired smoke alarm must be installed by a licensed electrical contractor and comply with electrical and building regulations.”
WA’s Building Regulations 2012 require compliant smoke alarms to be installed prior to a dwelling’s sale, rental or hire.
“To be compliant, smoke alarms must meet the building code requirements in place at the time of installation, including the locations and applicable Australian Standards,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.
“The alarms must also be less than 10 years old, in working order and permanently connected to the mains power supply. Interconnected alarms are also required for dwellings constructed after 1 May 2015 if they have more than one smoke alarm.”
Building and Energy has published a fact sheet (available at dmirs.wa.gov.au) about smoke alarm laws for established dwellings including the required standards, locations, exemptions for demolition and options for areas where a hard-wired alarm cannot be fitted.
Smoke alarms are strongly recommended for all homes, even if they are not being sold, rented or hired. For alarms that have a 9-volt battery, April Fools’ Day is also a helpful reminder to change this battery each year.
Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au