Smoke Alarm Solutions: From January 1st, 2022, all Queensland rental properties must conform to the new smoke alarm laws. Several new smoke alarm standards are required at a cost up to $1000 plus to landlords, depending on the property’s size.
Should landlords and AirBnB lettors facing these upgrades think they can wait until closer to the deadline in the hope of the prices dropping, they will almost certainly be mistaken.
Indications are that rather than falling, the costs involved in upgrading smoke alarms on their property will in fact escalate.
Reasons for prices for smoke alarm upgrades are below.
Smoke Alarm Solutions: Supply is Much Lower Than Demand
In general sales and marketing terms, prices drop when there is an oversupply of goods compared to the number of buyers. At its worst we call this a glut. But in reality, as we examine upgraded smoke alarm solutions we will find that the available supply of new alarms will be significantly less than the demand. This will create the opposite of a glut… the demand for alarms will push the prices up, possibly as much as 45% or more.
There are nearly 600,000 rental properties in Queensland alone – all of which must comply with the new smoke alarm requirements. In contrast, the number of contractors providing licensed smoke alarm solutions Australia-wide doesn’t reach even half this number.
Commencing October 1, 2019 there are around 550 working days until the 2022 deadline. This means the number of smoke alarm upgrades will be around 980 properties to be modernised per working day in order to meet the government’s deadline. Some contractors envisage this to mean they will need to triple their workforce to meet the demand.
It Will be Illegal to Rent any Property not Upgraded by the January 1 Deadline in 2022
All properties not upgraded as per the 2022 legislation will be come automatically unrentable. Landlord insurance may become null and void.
This will cause the loss of rent income to the tune of hundreds of dollars, until the properties’ smoke alarms are upgraded.
Smaller smoke alarm solutions providers will almost certainly become overwhelmed with work and larger firms will be forced to prioritise which rental property owners they service first.
Untrained Electricians Could Present Unacceptable Risks in Providing Smoke Alarm Solutions
New smoke alarm regulations are complex and electricians without adequate training and certification may present an unacceptable risk because they don’t understand the new rules.
While it may be tempting for landlords to use the first electrician they can grab hold of, the end result may be that your property needs recification, often requiring all alarms to be replaced, and overall incurring thousands of dollars worth of rectification work.
Even at this time, unqualified work by untrained electricians has proven this to be the case. This situation will only get worse as the 2022 deadline draws nearer.
If landlords act now, at least they can avoid the rush which will only get worse in 2020 and even more so in 2021. Moreover, existing tenants will be safer with the best smoke alarm solutions already installed in their home.
Three Key Challenges Facing the Smoke Alarm Industry
David Frappel is the Chief Operating Officer at 2Link Solutions. He maintains there are three smoke alarm solution challenges which must be addressed by landlords renting AirBnB and also long term rental properties.
The first of these is time. As David explains, “Most landlords who are going to be affected by smoke alarm legislation changes think they have enough time to get it done at a later date.”
“Waiting until 2021 to get this work done will mean you run out of time,” he said. “With the amount of properties requiring work numbering somewhere between 550,000 and 600,000, there simply won’t be enough time, or installer, to get the work done.
David also explained that if landlords and AirBnB renters wish to get the best result from their compulsory upgrades, they should increase their safety by additionally installing a Smart Switch Alarm System, which cuts all electricity to the home from its switchboard.
“With 40% of house fires caused by electrical faults, cutting the electricity makes all the difference in killing the fire,” he said.
Awareness is the second major challenge. It will prove almost impossible for all smoke alarm solutions providers to find out about the new compulsory changes to the law in 2022.
It will therefore also prove impossible for them all to be trained properly so that they can implement the new smoke alarm configurations into the premises requiring them.
This leads to a high risk of electricians ordering and installing wrong configured alarms systems, quoting for the wrong thing and being paid to install smoke alarm systems which ultimately won’t comply with what is required under the new laws.
Not only landlords, but also electricians and alarm suppliers, all need to be sufficiently trained so that they understand the intricate details of the new legislation.
This will require industry bodies all getting together to properly educate electricians and alarm providers so that they provide and install the correct smoke alarm solutions into landlords’ and AirBnB rental premises.
Our industry’s third challenge is to educate landlords, getting them to understand how imperative it is for them to act now.
More than a legal obligation, it is also an ethical obligation to provide the best safety possible for their tenants.
Smoke alarms definitely save lives, especially if they are combined with a Smoke Alarm Smart Switch, as evidenced recently when all members of a Queensland family all died in a house fire where the building had no smoke alarms installed.
So, whilst the deadline for upgrading all tenanted premises is 2022, it’s really does not require much to act now and to make sure everyone in the house your tenanting will be safe and that smoke alarms will activate when there’s a fire.
As David said above, it’s inevitable that prices will rise because, as demand increases, so will the cost of alarms and installation.
It is vital for landlords to accept that their premises will become unrentable if they haven’t upgraded their smoke alarms to the latest standardsbyJanuary 1 2022 – and ultimately in 2027 they will also be required to install interconnected bedroom alarms.
The good news is that the Smoke Alarm Smart Switch will work with all the new regulated changes, just one installation that cuts of all electricity to the home, thus preventing 40% of house fires pretty much before they start