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2078 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1034139 30-Apr-2014 17:08
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ubergeeknz: I know in Aussie a chap came around every 6mo and changed the batteries and tested all our smoke alarms.

Maybe just something to suggest to the owner.


I solved this exact problem by having a smoke detector with a long-life battery installed in one of my rentals.  The tenant can't take the battery out and the detector is supposed to last at least 10 years.

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Uber Geek

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  # 1041531 10-May-2014 22:57
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Cant imagine how smoke detectors would have anything to do with insurance, they only go off once theres smoke and won't stop the fire. But insurance specialise in looking for excuses right?




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

 
 
 
 


15322 posts

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  # 1041545 10-May-2014 23:40
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webwat: Cant imagine how smoke detectors would have anything to do with insurance, they only go off once theres smoke and won't stop the fire. But insurance specialise in looking for excuses right?

 

Becauase once detected, there would be less chance that the fire will cause the house to be written off, as the fire fighters will arrive sooner, allowing the fire to be put out quicker.

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  # 1041578 11-May-2014 05:29
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mattwnz:
webwat: Cant imagine how smoke detectors would have anything to do with insurance, they only go off once theres smoke and won't stop the fire. But insurance specialise in looking for excuses right?

Becauase once detected, there would be less chance that the fire will cause the house to be written off, as the fire fighters will arrive sooner, allowing the fire to be put out quicker.


If it is true ( I will ask my insurer) then its more about the insurance company wriggling out of liability than anything else. If they can find a loophole they will use it. If it is true then I will either pull them out of my rentals or probably sell them to the tenants for a dollar assuming that gets the ok.

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Ultimate Geek

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  # 1041606 11-May-2014 09:39
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SepticSceptic: Dunno if this is Urban Myth or no, but if you (as a landlord) install battery operated smoke detectors in a rental property , and the tenants remove the batteries because they are either flat, or used in another appliance, and there is a fire and your rental property is badly damaged / destroyed, you are not covered by insurance, and are liable for both your rental and your tenants property ?


Thanks (I think) for asking that question.

I just had the “firewatch” guy - the local council contractor - here for our annual building WOF/fire audit and thought he might know.
He hadn't heard of that before, thought it unlikely, and said ask the insurance company.

It did set him off on a diatribe about people who disable alarms, remove batteries etc and how wrong that is, leading him to point out that we should replace all our alarms with fully tamper proof ones.

Which brought up another issue. Apparently the Christchurch earthquake showed up a propensity for fires to propagate through firewalls via holes cut for network cabling, ventilation etc.

In his enthusiasm he decided to re inspect the building, this time removing all the outlet covers on our firewalls to see if they were rated. Turns out some weren't.

Notably the computer room - the centre of our “star” - has 4 cat5, and 2 coax outlets, with plastic, non fire rated boxes cut into the firewall.

We'll now be replacing them with metal/fire rated ones, gasket sealed to the wall. The non-rated kitchen range hood fittings will be replaced.
We'll also be installing an alarm sensor over the computers, sat modem, power bars and ups as that's where a fire's likely to start.

So yeah.. failed. But have learnt something new, maybe saved someone's life - so a good day:)

Edit - spelling again!

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Master Geek


  # 1041614 11-May-2014 09:58
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Sidestep:
SepticSceptic: Dunno if this is Urban Myth or no, but if you (as a landlord) install battery operated smoke detectors in a rental property , and the tenants remove the batteries because they are either flat, or used in another appliance, and there is a fire and your rental property is badly damaged / destroyed, you are not covered by insurance, and are liable for both your rental and your tenants property ?


Thanks (I think) for asking that question.

I just had the “firewatch” guy - the local council contractor - here for our annual building WOF/fire audit and thought he might know.
He hadn't heard of that before, thought it unlikely, and said ask the insurance company.

It did set him off on a diatribe about people who disable alarms, remove batteries etc and how wrong that is, leading him to point out that we should replace all our alarms with fully tamper proof ones.

Which brought up another issue. Apparently the Christchurch earthquake showed up a propensity for fires to propagate through firewalls via holes cut for network cabling, ventilation etc.

In his enthusiasm he decided to re inspect the building, this time removing all the outlet covers on our firewalls to see if they were rated. Turns out some weren't.

Notably the computer room - the centre of our “star” - has 4 cat5, and 2 coax outlets, with plastic, non fire rated boxes cut into the firewall.

We'll now be replacing them with metal/fire rated ones, gasket sealed to the wall. The non-rated kitchen range hood fittings will be replaced.
We'll also be installing an alarm sensor over the computers, sat modem, power bars and ups as that's where a fire's likely to start.

So yeah.. failed. But have learnt something new, maybe saved someone's life - so a good day:)

Edit - spelling again!


mmm there is no such thing as an "annual building WOF/fire audit"  if your building has a WOF the Building Owner is required to do regular inspections, including some monthly and even daily/weekly depending on the system, the WOF is signed annually, the majority of systems aren't only checked annually.  Before changing plastic flush boxes etc I'd be first making sure the wall is actually a fire rated one not just a standard gib wall, where is it in relation to other tenants in the building?

Absolutely have more smoke detectors, get long life photo electric ones, your life is more important than someone elses building or your computer...

Tim

719 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 1041632 11-May-2014 11:21
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NZtimbo: 

mmm there is no such thing as an "annual building WOF/fire audit"  if your building has a WOF the Building Owner is required to do regular inspections, including some monthly and even daily/weekly depending on the system, the WOF is signed annually, the majority of systems aren't only checked annually.  Before changing plastic flush boxes etc I'd be first making sure the wall is actually a fire rated one not just a standard gib wall, where is it in relation to other tenants in the building?

Absolutely have more smoke detectors, get long life photo electric ones, your life is more important than someone elses building or your computer...

Tim


You're right - it's officially the FNDC “annual building WOF/Compliance check” on the renewal form now.

Our local council's decided in it's wisdom to make it also a complete systems audit, as so many businesses, during random inspections, turned out to be non-complying.

They've recently changed their WOF contractor because of this.

They do check I've signed off on my monthly inspections of specified systems, exit signs etc in the compliance schedule book.

The fire rated walls are offset double layers of “fyrestop” gib I put in when building the place.. so long ago..
The interesting thing was the council had no records of this, and no records of their signing it off afterwards. 

I had to pull out my copies of the original construction plans to show which were fire walls so they could inspect them.

One's a 7M high wall from the floor to the peak of the 2 storey building, dividing it into 2 zones, another fire rated wall's behind the ranges in the kitchen..

You're right about the smoke detectors. I have as many as legally required, but can't go wrong with more:)

 
 
 
 


165 posts

Master Geek


  # 1041662 11-May-2014 12:03
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Yes we have to love councils and their wisdom... 

Not uncommon for them to not have details about buildings they signed off ages ago, less common now as Compliance Schedules have to be very specific... 

Tim 

15322 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1041698 11-May-2014 13:29
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Common sense would imply you need smoke detectors in all dwellings, both new and existing. But common sense doesn't seem to pervail when it comes to thos sort of thing.

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