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Time to check your property's smoke alarms

10 Jun 14

Keeping your smoke alarms in full working order should be high on the agenda for any property owner, regardless of whether you're a landlord or living in your own home.

The Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) is urging everyone living in South Australia to make sure their smoke alarms are fully operational, otherwise they face a big risk to their personal safety.

Data from the MFS shows just 54 per cent of homes that are affected by a house fire each year have smoke alarms fitted. Meanwhile, only 20 per cent of properties that have a significant house fire have working smoke alarms.

Tony Piccolo, minister for the emergency service in South Australia, said the figures show just how important it is to not only have an alarm, but one that will alert you to the presence of a fire.

He explained that homes without working smoke alarms are as much as 80 per cent more likely to have a damage bill of $30,000 or more. In some cases, the entire property could be destroyed.

Real estate law states that landlords are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms in their properties.

Not only this, the alarms must provide reasonable warning to tenants while they are sleeping and give them the best possible chance of being able to evacuate the building.

Mr Piccolo continued: "While we believe that generally, a very high percentage of the community is responsible and does have working smoke alarms, it is clear that for those who don't have working smoke alarms, they are putting themselves, their families, friends and property at far greater risk of a damaging house fire."

The MFS advises homeowners and landlords to install photo-electric smoke alarms in all sleeping areas, as well as parts of the home that lead to rooms used for living and sleeping in.

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