Do I have to install a mains powered smoke alarm to sell my home?

Legislation has mandated that from 1 October 2009, all mains powered smoke alarms must be installed on residential buildings whether these will be placed on sale or prior to finalizing new tenancy agreements for rental properties. A two-year difference is given for rental properties without tenancy changes. If the tenants remain the same, the mains powered smoke alarms must be fitted by landowners by 1 October 2011.

If no smoke alarms have been installed, you are required to fit a device into your home, as mandated by the Miscellaneous provisions of the Local Government Act of 1960, Section 248; Local Government Act of 1995, Section 9.60; and the Building Amendments Regulation of 2009. Though the regulations prefer the use of mains powered smoke alarms, other alternative smoke alarms are also permitted as long as they meet the following criteria: these alarms must have a non-removable 10-year battery life, the overall design and construction of the home does not allow concealment of the wiring, when the mains power supply is unavailable, or where a suitable alternative location is impossible.

These regulations have been developed as a result of an agreement among several key stakeholders, including the Western Australia Division of National Electrical Communications Association (NECA), Department of Commerce (Consumer Protection – Tenancies), REIWA, WALGA, and the Local Government. The resulting mandates will be part of each building law of any Local Government. Though the legislation is expected to be self-policing, the Local Government is a primary figure in ensuring compliance. As such, power is vested upon the Local Government to issue infringement notices, or issue a maximum fine of $5,000 for non-compliance. More information is available from FESA.

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