What landlords need to remember about smoke alarm safety

As a landlord, it is important to regularly maintain your property's smoke alarm for the safety of your tenants. In accordance to South Australian legislation, all homes must be fitted with working smoke alarms. Landlords are responsible for ensuring a working smoke alarm is installed at their property. If you fail to do so, you will be liable for a $750 fine.

As a landlord, what are my obligations for owning a smoke alarm?

If your rental property was purchased before February 1, 1998, you are required to fit a replaceable, battery-powered smoke alarm. If you own a rental property purchased after this date, you are required to have a smoke alarm fitted within six months from the day on which the title is transferred to you. This alarm must be either a:

240-volt, mains-powered smoke alarm


A 10-year life, replaceable, non-removable, permanently connected battery-powered smoke alarm

Homes built after January 1, 1995 require a 240-volt, mains-powered smoke alarm.

If your property is two storeys, it is recommended that you install one smoke alarm upstairs and one downstairs, so both are easy to hear.


How do I maintain the smoke alarm at my rental property?

If your smoke alarm has a removable battery, it must be replaced at least once per year. To test your smoke alarm, press the test button once a month to see if it is still in working condition. Smoke alarms need to be cleaned with a soft brush every six months to remove any excess lint and dust. Your smoke alarm should be replaced every ten years and we suggest this is done by a professional.

Non-compliant smoke detectors and insurance

Any Insurance that is held on the property may not cover damages to your home, contents or injury to a tenant due to a non-compliant smoke alarm. Insurers can use the presence of a smoke alarm and whether it is battery-operated or hard-wired as a factor in setting premiums.