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. All South Australian 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.