Smoke Alarm Servicing During the Time of COVID-19
August 5, 2020
The Victorian Government has confirmed that Smoke Alarm Solutions is eligible for an exemption to any business restrictions during the stage 4 lockdown. We will continue to operate during this time.
Staff and management are well versed in our COVID-19 safety plan and the appropriate procedures have been put in place in case of an exposure.
All of our electricians and technicians have been provided Permitted Worker Permits which they will carry with them at all times.
As has been the case since the beginning of this public health emergency, we have implemented a company-wide level of heightened safety precautions via our strict COVID-19 action plan, as stated below.
Current Victorian restriction levels are as follows:
- From 6pm on August 2, 2020, stage 4 restrictions are in place across metropolitan Melbourne.
- From 11:59pm on August 2, 2020, the use of face coverings is mandatory throughout Victoria.
- From 11:59pm on August 2, 2020, stage 3 restrictions apply throughout regional Victoria.
We are here to help - Finding the right balance
With further restrictions being enforced in Victoria, it is a timely reminder that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is likely to continue impacting all of our daily lives for the next six months or more.
Even if not directly affected by strict isolation requirements, the ongoing need to practice social distancing remains in place for all Australians for the foreseeable future.
We 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 causing a high volume of appointments needing to be rescheduled. The team at Smoke Alarm Solutions appreciate and understand tenants have concerns in allowing contractors into their home during this time. We are also extremely mindful that more of us are opting to stay at home, coupled with the increased fire risks associated with the winter months, therefore the importance of ensuring functioning smoke alarms in every rental property is more important than ever.
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 a duty of care remains to ensure tenanted properties are safe for habitation and to fulfil legislative requirements. Please be assured we are continuing to provide our essential service to ensure ongoing safety of properties through this time.
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 Queensland & South Australia
We have had some agents query what to do if tenants refuse entry for smoke alarm maintenance. 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 with questions or conerns.
- 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.