Smoke Alarm Servicing in the Time of COVID-19
We are here to help - Finding the right balance
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is likely to impact our daily lives for the next 6 months with most people at home and practising social distancing.
With this new way of life Smoke Alarm Solutions are finding some tenants are confused as to whether they should allow our technicians access to their properties for us to complete our scheduled inspections. This is resulting in a high volume of appointments being rescheduled.
We recognise and understand that tenants have concerns with allowing contractors into their home during this time.
At Smoke Alarm Solutions we are also aware that with everyone staying at home and Winter fast approaching the importance of ensuring functioning smoke alarms in every rental property is critical.
Smoke alarm maintenance remains a vital service for Australians, and the current Government restrictions do not prevent our technicians entering homes to ensure smoke alarms are working.
Even amid the pandemic, essential safety services such as smoke alarm compliance still need to occur, as there is still a duty of care to ensure tenanted properties are safe for habitation and to fulfil the legislative requirements.
With the current rate of inspections being rescheduled, we have had to extend our ‘reinspection’ window. Please work with us to try to avoid any delay in smoke alarm inspections, maintenance and compliance.
Minimising COVID-19 Risk for Tenants with Personal Protective Equipment
Smoke Alarm Solutions has implemented new process and procedure to ensure the safety of our staff, clients and tenants.
- Smoke Alarm Solutions’ technicians are equipped with additional personal protective equipment including disposable gloves, masks and coveralls.
- Smoke Alarm Solutions’ technicians adhere to strict social distancing requirements at all times.
- Before entering a property, the technicians qualify if anyone in the property has tested positive to the coronavirus or is on enforced quarantine. If there is any risk the smoke alarm inspection will be postponed.
- Minimising the amount of time spent within the property to lower exposure to risk.
- As is always the case, any Smoke Alarm Solutions’ technician that is unwell does not attend work and requires a doctor’s assessment prior to returning to work.
What to do if a Tenant refuses entry
We have had some agents query what to do if tenants refuse entry for smoke alarm maintenance. The REIQ (Real Estate Institute of Queensland) has suggested if a tenant refuses entry for smoke alarm testing, the Property Manager needs to obtain in writing the reason for refusal, which is then passed onto the landlord so they can raise this with their insurance for further advice.
To assist in communicating this advice, we have developed two templates for property managers to use during this time. If you would like a copy of these resources, please CLICK HERE to email us a request.
To ensure tenants feel comfortable with allowing us to complete our work we have also initiated the following additional measures:
- All tenants will be contacted via SMS the day prior to booked inspections.
- Added communications to our entry notices asking tenants to notify us as soon as possible if they do not want us to attend.
What Can Property Managers Do to Help?
Keeping an open line of communication and supporting each other in this constantly changing environment is so important during this time. Clients are encouraged to:
- Alert us of known cases of COVID-19. Continue to keep us aware of any unfolding COVID-19 situations including tenants in self-isolation.
- Alert us of changes to inspection procedures. If your agency wishes to change inspection procedures or temporarily close during this period, please make us aware and we will work with you on the best way to provide our services.
- Contact us via email. Like many other offices, Smoke Alarm Solutions has moved to a work-from-home environment. Although you are still able to use phone lines to contact us, our response times may be delayed due to technical changes in our system.
- We strongly encourage you to take action and speak with your tenants in advance to ensure they understand their responsibilities.
If you have any further questions about these COVID-19 procedures, you can contact us here.