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Important New Rules – Residual Current Devices and Smoke Alarms

01 June 2009
From 9th August 2009 sellers of residential properties will be required by state law to have two Residual Current Devices (RCDs) installed in the property. These safety devices must be installed by the settlement date.

The same law applies to owners of rental properties. Any residential premises being newly leased must comply from 9th August year. For existing tenants where no new lease is required the RCDs must be fitted by 9th August 2011.

The new regulations will mainly affect properties where construction commenced before 2001, when it became compulsory to fit at least two RCDs in all newly built properties.

These devices can save people from electrocution. RCDs can also protect against fires which canstart from small leakages of current from wires with damaged or perished insulation. Any licensed electrician can supply and fit the RCDs on the switchboard of your property.

There may be an exemption in the case where the buyer will be demolishing the property. A specified date for demolition must be nominated and cannot be more than six months from the date of transfer.

The seller is required to send that buyer's statement to the Director of
EnergySafety.

In addition to this RCD requirement, there will soon be an additional requirement to have hardwired smoke alarms, not more than ten years old, in all residential properties being sold or made available for lease. This law is expected to come into effect in October this year.

REIWA understands that the state government bodies involved in these reforms will run a community education campaign to explain the changes. Be alert to this campaign and talk to your real estate agent or property manager to find out if these requirements affect your property.

If your property will be affected by these new state laws then you should contact an electrical contractor who will be familiar with the requirements, or ask your property manager to see to this on your behalf.

For more information about RCDs you can contact the Division of EnergySafety at the Department of Commerce in Perth on 9422 5200.

Yours sincerely,

ANNE ARNOLD
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
REIWA

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