The arrival of autumn is an opportune time to undertake a health and safety audit of your property, ensuring appliances are performing at their peak and the proper protections are in place.
This advice goes to all property owners, but is particularly applicable for lessors of holiday homes and apartments who can make use of the window of opportunity between the busy Christmas and Easter periods.
A good place to start is with smoke alarms and air conditioners – two items which need special attention as the weather starts to cool.
Experts tell us that the proper installation and monitoring of smoke alarms triples the chances of survival in the event of a fire, so it is imperative that no shortcuts are taken with these devices.
The colder months can produce a higher-than-normal risk due to the use of indoor heating, making it essential that homes have an adequate number of suitable smoke alarms installed and that they are tested properly.
And don’t forget, significant new safety standards relating to smoke alarms which need to be met under Queensland law will be applicable from January 1, 2022 on all dwellings sold, leased or where an existing lease is renewed.
With more than 300,000 investment properties in Queensland all needing to abide by these important measures, the advice is to get organised well before the cut-off date when available contractors may be scarce and prices at a premium.
Air conditioners also need attention in autumn because of the potential build-up of dust, mould and bacteria due to their heavy use over summer.
These unhealthy particles can be quickly spread around the home once the reverse cycle is activated, so it is vital that the systems are serviced and cleaned.
Other general maintenance tips for your autumn audit include clearing gutters before the leaves start to drop and consider mesh guards to keep them debris-free, sealing drafts to maximise heating efficiency, addressing any roof problems and inspecting stairs, walkways and driveways for slip and trip hazards.