Here are some of the areas you might want to consider in your safe home plan.
Plumbing, gutters & roof.
While not always an obvious safety issue, faulty plumbing causes more emergencies than any other type of maintenance problem. This can be costly, especially if damage to your homemaker’s belongings occurs. Leaks in the roof or walls can also cause mould, which is a significant concern for the health of your homemakers. A regular check by a qualified plumbing, gas and drainage specialist will bring attention to any problem areas early.
Blind & curtain cords
This is a very overlooked safety issue, but a very common cause of death or injury in young children. Thankfully, installing blind and curtain cord hooks to keep stray cords safely secured away from little fingers can help you save children’s lives in your rental home.
Locks need to be maintained and in good working order to ensure the security of your homemakers. They are also an item that goes through a bit of wear and tear in some homes, depending on the frequency of use. Most times, your property management consultant can keep you abreast of issues with your locks. When concerns arise, it is a great idea to give them the go ahead to action this straight away.
Stairs, decks & railings
With some terrible accidents having occurred in the past on Australian decks, we know this is a safety item which can have dire consequences if overlooked. Having a qualified builder regularly inspect stairs, decks, railings and even retaining walls can give everyone peace of mind.
Pool safety is crucial for everyone in every home. Keeping up to date with laws is always critical. Queensland pool safety laws apply to all pools and require you to have a current pool safety certificate from a licensed swimming pool safety inspector. There are many regulations around pool safety as well as fencing, including boundary vegetation, safety signage and your own gardens.
Electricity & appliances
When was the last time you gave your appliances a once over? How old is your wiring? An electrician can advise you on the safety of your appliances and your wiring. They may also recommend a schedule to ensure you meet your safety obligations as your property ages. They can also advise you on the currency of your smoke alarms, as per the below recommendations.
Smoke alarms save lives, and it is important they are in your investment home. Queensland is phasing in new smoke alarm laws, to become compulsory by 2022. As of 2017, smoke alarms older than 10 years old should be replaced, as well as those which don’t operate when tested. Existing ones must be replaced with a photoelectric smoke alarm.
By 2022, smoke alarms will all be photoelectric and will be required to be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the home. They must be installed in every bedroom on each story, as well as in hallways and pathways of the home. There are currently interconnected varieties available, and if your smoke alarms need replacing now, this would probably be the most economical option for you given the new laws.
And they do save lives
Recently, a homemaker had a guest in her unit who smoked a cigarette on the balcony, before putting it out and disposing of it into the waste bin. Unfortunately, it was still lit slightly, and began to burn in the waste bin on the balcony while they slept. Smoke poured into the unit, but as many will testify in these cases the smell of smoke didn’t’t alert the sleeping occupants. It was the roar of the smoke alarm which woke the homemakers, allowing them to rush to safety. The property received approximately $70,000 worth of damage due to the thick black smoke over the walls of the unit and fire damage to the balcony area. Luckily, the homeowners had good landlord insurance to cover it, and even luckier, was the installation of the working smoke alarm to ensure that at the end of the day everyone came away with their lives.