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Fire Safety in Lithgow

15 Jul 2014 Lithgow 0 Comment

There have been a number of reports in the media recently stating that Lithgow has a high incidence of house fires with more than 100 fires in our area in the past 7 years, resulting in 2 deaths and 9 injuries.  I found this to be a really shocking state of affairs and thought it a good time to remind our clients, both tenants and landlords about their responsibilities regarding smoke detectors in rented properties.

Landlords are responsible to have working smoke detectors installed in their rented properties, with the requirement being that they are installed in the area outside of the bedroom locations in the home.  If there are 2 stories to the property, then the requirement is that there is a working smoke detector on each level of the property, regardless of the location of bedrooms on that floor.  Our office ensures that smoke detectors are tested and working prior to the commencement of any tenancy and remind our landlords that it is important to check that the smoke detectors are within date at the time of testing as well.  Making sure that smoke alarms are compliant is so much more than just pressing a button to see if it is beeping.  For this reason our office recommends to our landlords that they use a smoke detector company and our office chooses to use 1300smokealarms.  They will provide you with a certificate of compliance,  give you annual testing and test at the time of a new tenancy.  This way you can be assured that your smoke alarms are being kept to a working standard and your risk is covered.

For our tenants, it is important that you make sure that you routinely test your smoke alarm to see if it is beeping when you press the button.  We have a note on all our inspection letters asking that you test your alarm prior to our inspection and advise our office immediately if the alarm is not working or you are concerned about any smoke detector issues.  It is the responsibility of the tenant to change their smoke detector battery if it becomes flat during your tenancy.

Some suggestions for ensuring that you are fire smart at your property include the following: Turn off electric blankets before going to sleep, never put clothes closer than 1 meter to a heater or fire if you are drying them, clean the lint filter in your clothes dryer weekly, turn off your iron (I am guilty of this one!), turn off your hair straightener (I used to do this one till I bought a straightener that turns itself when not in use),  never leave cooking unattended.

There is a great website that you can go to to conduct an audit on your home fire safety.  I have been on and it recommended to me that I have a home fire safety plan.  I am going to speak with my family tonight regarding putting this in place, so that we all know what to do if there is a fire in our home.  If you click on the link below, you can do an audit on your own home and follow their recommendations for fire safety.

http://www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au/Default.aspx

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-02/lithgow-fire/5564938    http://www.lithgowmercury.com.au/story/2416029/lithgow-firies-warn-of-home-fire-safety-complacency/?cs=12

 

 


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