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Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarm Legislation

Residential Tenancy (Smoke Alarms) Act 2012 and Residential Tenancy (Smoke Alarms) Regulations 2012
The Residential Tenancy Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Act 2012 (the Act) requires smoke alarms to be installed in residential rental properties in Tasmania from 1 May 2013.
The  Act  is  supported  by  the  Residential  Tenancy  (Smoke  Alarm)  Regulations  2012  (the Regulations) which set out detailed requirements regarding the:
  Class of premises required to have smoke alarms; 
  Type of smoke alarms required; 
  Location of alarms in premises; and 
  Obligations  of  property  owners  and  tenants  to  maintain,  test  and  clean  smoke alarms
Premises required to have smoke alarms 
All buildings that are tenanted under a residential tenancy agreement are required to be fitted with smoke alarms from 1 May 2013.
The regulations require smoke alarms to be placed in tenanted premises that are, or are part of, a building that is a Class 1a, Class 1b, Class 2 or Class 3 building or Class 4 premises under the Building Code of Australia.
Examples of the premises contained in each class include: 
   Houses, town houses, villa units etc. (Class 1a); 
  Small guest houses, boarding houses accommodating up to 12 persons (Class 1b); 
  Apartments and blocks of flats (Class 2); 
  Larger boarding houses (Class 3); and 
  Caretaker flats and residences above shops (Class 4).  
Type of smoke alarms required 
The  regulations  recognise  that  there  may  be  changes  to  Standard  3786  -  1993 over time. In order to ensure that owners are not required to replace alarms every time this occurs, the regulations deem that once an alarm that complies with the Standard is installed in tenanted premises, it is taken to continue to comply with the Standard until such time as it:
  No longer functions; or 
  Reaches its expiry date. 
  When an alarm is replaced, it must meet the requirements of the Standard at the time of replacement.
This provision applies to alarms installed in tenanted premises both before and after commencement of the legislation. 
Transitional Arrangements 
From 1 May 2013 until 30 April 2016, smoke alarms can be battery (by either a 9-volt removable battery or a 10-year non-removable battery) powered, or mains powered, provided it complies with AS 3786-1993.
This transitional arrangement reduces the immediate cost to property owners and allows them three years to budget and arrange for mains powered or ten year non-removable battery alarms to be installed.
From 1 May 2016, smoke alarms will be required to be either mains powered or 10-year non-removable battery alarms. 
Placement of smoke alarms in premises 
The regulations set out where alarms are required to be located in each class of premises, in line with the relevant provisions of the Building Code of Australia.
Alarms must be installed on, or near, the ceiling in each class of building/premises as follows:
Class 1a building (Houses, town houses, villa units etc.) 
(a) if any storey of the premises contain a bedroom – 
(i) in every corridor, or hallway, situated in the storey, that is associated with a 
bedroom; and 
(ii) if there is no corridor, or  hallway, situated in the storey, that is 
associated with a bedroom, between that part of the premises containing the 
bedroom and the remainder of the premises; and 
(b) in any other storey of the premises that does not contain a bedroom. 
The  regulations  require  smoke  alarms  to  be  placed  in  tenanted  premises  that are, or are part of, a building that is a Class 1a, Class 1b or Class 3 building or Class 4 premises under the Building Code of Australia.
Examples of the premises contained in each class include: 
Houses, town houses, villa units etc. (Class1a); 
Small  guest  houses,  boarding  houses  accommodating  up  to  12  persons (Class 1b);
Apartments and blocks of flats (Class 2); 
Larger boarding houses (Class 3); and 
Caretaker flats and residences above shops (Class 4). 
Class 1b building (Small guesthouses, boarding houses accommodating up to 12 persons) 
(a) if any storey of the premises contains a bedroom – 
(i) in each bedroom in that storey; and 
(ii) in every corridor, or hallway, associated with a bedroom; and 
(iii) if there is no corridor, or hallway, associated with a bedroom, between that 
part of the premises containing the bedroom and the remainder of the premises; and 
(b) in any other storey of the premises that does not contain a bedroom.
Class 2 building (Apartments and blocks of flats) 
(a) if any storey of the premises contains a bedroom – 
(i)  in  the  premises,  in  every  corridor,  or  hallway,  associated  with  a  bedroom  in 
that storey; and 
(ii)  if  there  is  no  corridor,  or  hallway,  associated  with  a  bedroom  in  that  storey, 
between that part of the premises containing the bedroom and the remainder of 
the premises; and 
(b)  in  egress  paths  in  any  other  storey  of  the  premises  that  does  not  contain  a 
bedroom. 
Class 3 building (Larger boarding houses) 
(a) if any storey of the premises contains a bedroom –
(i)  in  the  premises,  in  every  corridor,  or  hallway,  associated  with  a  bedroom  in 
that storey; and 
(ii)  if  there  is  no  corridor,  or  hallway,  associated  with  a  bedroom  in  that  storey, 
between that part of the premises containing the bedroom and the remainder of 
the premises; and 
(b)  in  egress  paths  in  any  other  storey  of  the  premises  that  does  not  contain  a 
bedroom. 
Class 4 premises (Caretaker flats and residences above shops) 
(a) if any storey of the premises contains a bedroom – 
(i)  in  the  premises,  in  every  corridor,  or  hallway,  associated  with  a  bedroom  in 
that storey; and 
(ii)  if  there  is  no  corridor,  or  hallway,  associated  with  a  bedroom  in  that  storey, 
between that part of the premises containing the bedroom and the remainder of 
the premises; and 
(b)  in  egress  paths  in  any  other  storey  of  the  premises  that  does  not  contain  a 
bedroom.