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Smoke Alarm installation in our lot
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dingo
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14/09/2017 - 6:48 pm
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The chairman sent us an email stating the owners agreed to install hard wired smoke detectors after the AGM in each of our lots and to make our units available for the electrician to install them

 There is no motion agreeing to install them and no meeting notice,  so it appears the chair has gone ahead and organised this on his own after the fire safety audit recommended hard wired smoke detectors be installed in each lot in our 1970’s block

I discovered he wants to run conduit on our ceiling and drill through our new light fittings for the power. Given this will be around  3m of conduit on our ceiling which will look awful what option do I have.

Do we need a by-law, he states if we don’t give access he will bill us. Can he do that what can we do? I thought these where supposed be on dedicated power anyway.

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kaindub
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14/09/2017 - 9:24 pm
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HI Dingo

The regulations for smoke detectors are that battery powered units are acceptable, but it is recomended that powered smoke alarmsare preferred.

It is not mandatory to install hardwired smoke alarms, but smoke alarms must be installed in a domestic residencs,

The fire audit your building had done, would not cover your lot UNLESS it was a multi story building that had a fire alarm board.

In the former case, its up to the lot owner to install and maintain smoke detectors.

In the latter  case, its the OC responsibility to install and maintain smoke dete tors in each lot.

I think in this case the chairman has misintrpreted the fire audit, mistaking a recomendation for a must do

Just get a clarifcation from the fire audit company,

Robert

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dingo
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14/09/2017 - 11:35 pm
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Thanks Robert, Ive just reads over the audit and it states smoke detectors in units but nothing about being hard wired. This install is due to take place this saturday and the chair appears to be a  control freak. We already have a battery smoke alarm but all the other owners are investors and just go along with whatever the chair says. 

 

Does anybody know if he can leagaly charge us if we refuse to allow it, given its our lot and he has no meeting or motion ?

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Kenuppa
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15/09/2017 - 8:59 am
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I cannot directly answer your question Dingo, however I suggest you investigate Smoke Alarm Legislation in your State.

I recently noticed that Queensland has new legislated requirements including the following:

To comply with legislation, interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms are required:

  • From 1 January 2017: in all new dwellings and substantially renovated dwellings (this applies to building applications submitted from 1 January 2017).
  • From 1 January 2022: in all domestic dwellings leased and sold.
  • From 1 January 2027: in all other domestic dwellings.

https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/community-safety/smokealarms/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.qld.gov.au/about/newsroom/smoke-alarm-legislation

 

Basically from 1 January 2017 onward any new or replaced smoke alarms must be interconnected and of the photoelectric type as per the applicable dates above.

 

I do not know how interconnected alarms can be installed to units without conduits and wiring, unless maybe someone develops a wireless type of alarm.

Rgds,

Allan

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scotlandx
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15/09/2017 - 10:00 am
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Setting aside fire alarm requirements, if there was no motion and no resolution of the owners to install hard wired fire alarms, then the Chair has no authority or power to require you to give access.  He certainly can't bill you.

I would also be concerned that this work is proceeding without a resolution of the owners, as I presume the costs are being borne by the OC?  If that is the case you should be asking on what basis he has engaged the electrician, because from what you have said the Chair has no authority to do that either.  

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dingo
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15/09/2017 - 3:45 pm
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Thanks scotlandx just as i suspected

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kaindub
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15/09/2017 - 4:16 pm
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Just for information

Interconneted smoke alarms mean that if there is more than one smoke alarm in a residence ( not the building) then the smokealarms are conne ted together such that if the alarm buzzer on one sounds the other alarm sounds as well.

Makes sense to alert other residents that are not near the soudxe of the fire

Interconnected does not mean smoke alarms wired to a central fire panel

Robery

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dingo
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19/09/2017 - 2:29 pm
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Thanks for the info kaindub.

Do you know if the O/C has the power to wire onto a lot owners electricity supply without consent and why should we pay for the electricity to power the smoke alarm when our battery one worked just fine?

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JimmyT
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19/09/2017 - 3:18 pm
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I think it would probably help a lot if you sat down with the chairman and asked what his thinking was, why he was pursuing this course of action and then explain your personal problems with it.

It may well be, for instance, that the fire inspectors have told him that while hard-wired smoke alarms aren't mandatory, they could be what prevents you from getting an order to install a sprinkler system (a scenario I have encountered elsewhere).

There's clearly a lack of communication here - and that may well be the only problem.

So remember the Flat Chat credo - never ascribe to malice anything that can just as easily be explained by stupidity. 

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dingo
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19/09/2017 - 6:27 pm
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It may well be, for instance, that the fire inspectors have told him that while hard-wired smoke alarms aren't mandatory, they could be what prevents you from getting an order to install a sprinkler system (a scenario I have encountered elsewhere).
 

Thats the idea from his point of view but so what nothing gives him the right to take it on his own. Hes not my boss JT - there is the problem - apart from a very ugly smoke detector on my wall right next to my lovely hand made mirror. That should really increase the value of my unit.

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JimmyT
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19/09/2017 - 6:43 pm
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Then you have leverage.  Tell him if the smoke alarm is not installed in a manner that's acceptable to you, you will force him to hold an EGM, block access to your unit (which may well delay all the other installations) and fight him through NCAT.

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dingo
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19/09/2017 - 6:53 pm
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JimmyT said
Then you have leverage.  Tell him if the smoke alarm is not installed in a manner that's acceptable to you, you will force him to hold an EGM, block access to your unit (which may well delay all the other installations) and fight him through NCAT.  

I went along with it so as not to rock the boat as we are new here. Probably best to chat to the other owners to guage the support

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