Q&A with Cameron Davis – CEO of Smoke Alarm Solutions

Property Management,  Property Managers

From 1 January 2022 all rental properties in Queensland must comply to the new smoke alarm legislation – which adds several new requirements to the current legislation. With the deadline fast approaching we took the time to sit down with Cameron Davis, CEO of Smoke Alarm Solutions, to find out how the 2022 legislation is impacting the smoke alarm compliance industry. 

Q: Do you think the changes to the Queensland smoke alarm legislation were necessary?

A: When you drill down to the heart of it, this legislation was implemented to protect people and their families. In 2011, Queensland saw the tragic house fire in Slacks Creek where 11 people died – this new legislation is vital in preventing further avoidable deaths. Smoke alarms save lives and are a necessary precaution.

Q: What are you seeing in the smoke alarm services market with less than 9 months until 2022?

A: We are seeing some very concerning trends and statistics in the market. With hundreds of thousands of rental properties in Queensland, we have been urging property managers and landlords to plan ahead and ensure their rent rolls meet legislation in time. We are now less than a year away from 2022 and less than 25% of the properties we service have been upgraded.

We as a business have been planning for this year since the new legislation was announced in 2016. The resources needed to implement this legislation is a small army and we have worked hard to ensure we can keep up with demand. However, the harsh reality is, there are not enough smoke alarm providers in Queensland to upgrade all the rental properties before the year is out.

Our fully trained and professional workforce which has been growing to accommodate the increasing demand, is here to assist you and your landlords meet this incredibly important legislation. If you are struggling to source a provider who can assist you meet the new smoke alarm legislation prior to 2022, please feel free to reach out to us today.

The other concerning trend we are seeing is that some landlords are turning to cheap, unqualified electricians who say they can upgrade properties to 2022 legislation but are often incorrectly installing the property’s smoke alarms. Last month we saw around 31% of properties upgraded to 2022 legislation by a third party provider actually failed to comply. This is costing landlords more money in the long run as they have to pay an experienced smoke alarm provider to rectify these incorrect installations.

Q: We understand Smoke Alarm Solutions recently released a new product?

A: Yes, back in January we began installing Emerald Alarms at a $119 per alarm price point. We saw an incredibly positive reaction from our clients. We have now released the Emerald Alarms Controller which will help tenants or occupants test, silence and locate triggered smoke alarms. The controller will allow tenants to do this without having to reach the alarms on high ceilings.

Q: Are smoke alarm upgrades tax deductible?

A: Smoke alarm compliance can be tax deductible for a landlord but time is now of the essence. If your landlords want to be eligible for a potential tax return this financial year, they need to book their smoke alarm upgrades now. Putting it off any longer will result in landlords having to wait until next financial year to make a claim.

Q: As a business owner yourself what is your final message to the real estate industry?

A: I am urging principals and property managers to really consider how this new legislation will impact you and your business. Not only do rental properties need to comply, but from 1 January 2022, properties being sold will also have to comply. Principals, property managers and sales agents need to make a plan now to ensure compliance is met so that rental income or a property sale is not put in jeopardy. Upgrading your rent roll now will avoid putting your business at risk in the future.

Smoke Alarm Solutions is Australia’s leading provider of smoke alarm services to the real estate industry and is a trusted partner of the REIQ. Contact Smoke Alarm Solutions today at 1300 852 301 or email info@smokealarmsolutions.com.au to find out how they can provide a cost-effective and user-friendly solution to remove the liability and stress surrounding such an imperative and intricate set of guidelines involved with smoke alarm compliance. Don’t leave compliance up to chance. Ensure you deal with the experts.

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