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Keeping Your Auckland Rental Properties Safe – Fireco’s Fire Safety Tips for Landlords

Fire Safety Tips for Landlords: What to Check for During Flat Inspections to Ensure Fire Safety in Your Auckland Rental Properties

Keeping your tenants and property safe is a key responsibility of all landlords, and fire safety should be a top priority. Regular inspections of your rental properties are crucial to identify and mitigate fire risks: this is your comprehensive checklist to help landlords conduct thorough inspections and maintain a fire-safe environment for your tenants.

What can you do?

There are several measures you can take to ensure fire safety in your Auckland rental properties. Although not all of these are legal requirements, they will help protect your property and tenants:

  • Electrical Appliances: Make sure any electrical appliances you provide (e.g., fridges, washers, dryers) are in good condition and free from frayed cords.
  • House Number Visibility: The house number should be clearly visible from the street to be easily readable by emergency services.
  • Fireplace Maintenance: If there’s a usable fireplace in the property, ensure the chimney is in good condition and has been cleaned recently.
  • Electrical Outlets: Ensure there are plenty of power points/outlets in the property, to prevent tenants from using extension cords or overloading outlets, as these can cause electrical fires.
  • Fire Extinguishers: While not legally required, it’s advised by NZ Fire Emergency that landlords provide an appropriate fire extinguisher in the property and ensure their tenants know how to use it.

Smoke Alarms

Landlords in Auckland are legally required to provide adequate smoke alarms in rental properties – and could be fined up to $7200 for failing to meet these obligations.

Here are the key things to be aware of when providing smoke alarms in rental properties:

  • Working smoke alarms are required in each sleeping space or within 3 metres of each bedroom door.
  • In a self-contained caravan, sleep-out, or similar, there must be a minimum of one working smoke alarm.
  • In multi-story units, there must be one smoke alarm on each level within the household unit.
  • Landlords are responsible for making sure smoke alarms are in working order at the beginning of every new tenancy.
  • Long-life photoelectric smoke alarms are required where there are no existing alarms.
  • All smoke alarms must be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended replacement date stated on the alarm.

Find more information on landlord’s responsibilities around smoke alarms on the NZ Government’s Tenancy Services website here.

Tenants’ Responsibilities for Smoke Alarms and Fire Safety

It’s the tenant’s responsibility to maintain the installed smoke alarm(s), including replacing batteries (if required), for the duration of their tenancy. Tenants cannot damage, remove, or disconnect smoke alarms, and must replace batteries and notify landlords of any issues as soon as possible – if tenants fail to meet these obligations, they could face financial penalties of up to $4000.

NZ Fire Emergency Services has a great checklist for renter’s home safety, with important things your tenants can check for to spot any potential fire risks, which you can find on their website here.

The contents of a fire extinguisher depend on its type. Some extinguishers are water-based, while others contain foam or carbon dioxide (CO2). Each type is designed to combat specific types of fires, so it’s important to choose the appropriate extinguisher for your needs.

It’s important to remember that maintaining fire safety in Auckland rental properties is an ongoing process, and keeping open communication with your tenants about fire safety practices is essential. Contact Fireco for a free, no-obligation quote, and get started on safeguarding your rental properties today.

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