Answers to FAQ's from COVID-19
As Smoke Alarm Solutions are leading the way in our approach to COVID-19, we wanted to provide guidance and support during this uncertain time by offering some answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) we have been fielding from our customer service team since the Government measures have been in place.
Is smoke alarm maintenance considered an essential service?
Yes. Smoke alarm inspections are considered essential and will continue through this time because it provides vital safety compliance to residential occupants.
The Queensland Minister for Housing has clearly stated smoke alarm inspections will continue to ensure no property owner or investor loses their home because of Coronavirus and the new arrangements that have been established. Tenants will still be required to allow an electrician or technician to enter the property and make sure their smoke alarm/s are still functioning.
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.
Based on recommendations by the Australian Government and the World Health Organisation, we have taken several precautions in an effort to promote the continued safety of tenants and our technicians. These include:
- 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.
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.
The Federal Government announced on the 22nd April 2020 temporary changes to Australia Post’s delivery service due to the challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic.
These are effective immediately and include
- removing the Priority Mail letter product
- adjusting the existing service standards on other letters, meaning Australia Post will deliver letters in metropolitan areas every second day
- extending the required delivery time for regular interstate letters to five days after the day of posting
The full details of the changes are available here.
Due to these changes, Smoke Alarm Solutions will be adjusting our smoke alarm inspection scheduling process for all clients that currently opt to use our standard Australia Post Entry Notice service.
Our process has changed to support our clients and we are providing two options outlined below. This will ensure we can continue to service and maintain smoke alarms within appropriate timeframes.
We ask that any Property Manager who hasn’t already confirmed, to email firstname.lastname@example.org your preference as a matter of urgency to ensure continuity of service.
Option One – Tenant scheduled appointments
- Many of our clients have already opted to have all smoke alarm inspections booked directly with the tenant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This removes the risk around delays with Australia Post.
- Ensures tenants have the option to alert us if there is any risk of COVID-19 infection at the property.
Option Two – Electronic Entry Notice
- This option removes the need for standard post, with an electronic Entry Notice emailed directly to the tenant.
We aim to provide crucial smoke alarm maintenance to make your property safe against the dangers of house fires in the most hassle-free/efficient manner possible. Tenants who wish to be at the property when our technician attends, can confirm at the time of the contact via the above methods if it’s suitable or specify an alternate date or time range between 8.30am and 5pm (Monday to Friday). Please note that we are unable to determine how long the inspections will take.
Yes. By law it’s required for Property Manager’s to notify Smoke Alarm Solutions if there is any risk at the property of infectious disease. It allows us to take responsible action to keep our staff safe to continue to provide our services.
To alert us of known cases of COVID-19, please email: email@example.com
Yes. Smoke Alarm Solutions has followed Government recommendations and our head office has moved to a predominantly work-from-home environment. Even amid this disruption, our customers are still able to use all current forms of communication, including existing email and phone lines.
You however may experience delays and we ask that you work with us in this unprecedent time. We encourage clients to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org wherever possible to help reduce call volumes.
Yes, meetings have continued and are being held virtually every day. We have also implemented webinar training sessions to support rolling out our training and knowledge around the state-based legislation requirements.
You can attend our meetings via video or teleconferencing facilities. Smoke Alarm Solutions have enabled these conferencing facilities to support up to 100 participants. We are ready to assist clients so they can continue to meet their legislative obligations. Contact your local BDM to set up an online meeting or email email@example.com to request more information on any of our services.
We ask that clients continue to keep us aware of any unfolding COVID-19 situations including tenants in self-isolation. To alert us of known cases, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If your agency wishes to change inspection procedures or temporarily close during this period, please make us aware by emailing email@example.com and we will work with you on the best way to provide our services.
Smoke Alarm Solutions is in regular conversation with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) in relation to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is/will have on the service and maintenance of smoke alarms and the subsequent potential risk around compliance to the smoke alarm legislation.
SAS is pleased to share with you the below statement SAS received from QFES. In short, there will be a common-sense approach taken to compliance, if all steps to fully comply domestic dwellings and units have been taken. These steps should be considered essential.
The domestic smoke alarm legislation places the obligation on the owner of a residential dwelling to ensure smoke alarms are fit for purpose.
Smoke Alarm Solutions priority is always to protect Australians. As such, we will remain open during this time and continue to service the smoke alarms in the homes of thousands of Australians.
Legislative and regulatory requirements nationally and across all states set specific times when smoke alarms should be serviced and maintained. It is vital that we continue providing our essential safety service and they go ahead in line with our additional safety precautions we have implemented.
Yes. Repairs and maintenance may be required to keep the premises safe, and in many cases can be completed in-line with social distancing rules. Talk with your property owner or manager if you have any concerns.
Smoke Alarm Solutions’ technicians are equipped with additional personal protective equipment including disposable gloves, masks and coveralls and must always adhere to strict social distancing requirements.
Before entering a property, the technicians qualify if anyone in the property has tested positive to the coronavirus or is on enforced quarantine. If the tenant indicates they have been overseas in the last 14 days and are unwell or self-isolating or there is any other risk the smoke alarm inspection will be postponed.
We have asked our technician to minimise the amount of time spent within the property to lower exposure to risk.