Top 8 Safety Issues Homeowners Should Consider

While this is may not be the most exciting article to read, it’s definitely worth reviewing to make sure your home is safe to rent out. We’ve summarised several government acts into 8 key things for your to check before hiring out your home for weddings.

  1. Decks
  2. Ranch Sliders
  3. Swimming pools and spas
  4. Smoke and fire alarms
  5. Building code compliance
  6. Chemicals and poisons
  7. Gas bottles
  8. Matches and candles

TOP_5802-The-official-photographers-wedding-photography

Decks

A deck that’s more than one metre off the ground must have a balustrade or safety barrier of at least one metre high.  Make sure that there’s no place on the barrier where a child can get a foothold between the heights of 15cm and 76cm

Decks must comply with the building code. Make sure you have a permanent, clearly visible sign stating the deck’s maximum design capacity.

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Ranch sliders

Since 1993 the Building Code has required the use of tempered rather than annealed glass in areas like ranch sliders and floor-to-ceiling windows.  Tempered glass is much stronger than annealed glass and if it does break, the whole pane shatters into small, blunt pieces which are less likely to cause injury.

If you have annealed glass add a vision strip or a frosted or opaque line.  If annealed glass breaks, replace it with tempered glass.

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Swimming pools and spas

Under the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 any pool over 400mm deep, including spas and inflatable pools, must be enclosed by a fence of at least 1.2 metres high. The fence must only enclose the immediate pool area and any door or gate in the fence must also comply with the Act.

Spa pool covers are not considered safety barriers; your spa may also have to be fenced. Check with your council. 

Don’t leave anything that children can use as ladders near a swimming pool fence.

Otahuna Lodge

Smoke and fire alarms

Make sure all smoke alarms have working batteries and have been tested in the past three months. See the Fire Service’s website for instructions on where and how to install smoke detectors.

Fire extinguishers should be wall mounted, out of reach of children, and ideally should be in or near the kitchen, but not too close to the stove.

Consider displaying a fire evacuation plan in a prominent place. Even if it’s a single-storey house, it’s worth pointing out all the entrances and exits to your visitors.

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Building compliance

Home owners must comply with the Building Act 2004 and the Building Code.  

The 308-page Building Act covers the construction of new buildings, alteration and demolition of existing buildings. The Building Code sets out minimum performance standards for building work on all types of buildings. Although the majority of the Building Act applies to new building work, renovations, alterations and change of use, there are some important points for homeowners. That’s because it requires territorial authorities to adopt policies regarding “insanitary” or “dangerous” buildings and enables them to take action against owners regardless of when they were built.

Having an “insanitary” house can prove expensive with fines of up to $200,000 plus $20,000 a day in the Building Act for “using a building in a use for which it is not sanitary”.

A home would be considered dangerous if there was something likely to cause injury, death, or damage to other properties and insanitary if they are offensive or likely to be injurious to health. Examples of this may be (leaky) buildings that allow moisture penetration or ones that don’t have an adequate supply of drinking water, or inadequate sanitary facilities.  

The Building Amendment Act 2010 has speeded up the process of gaining consent but hasn’t removed the need to comply with building regulations.

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Chemicals and poisons

Your own children might know not to touch household cleaners, pool chemicals and the like, but visitors to the house may not have that knowledge. Keep all potential poisons out of sight and out of reach – under lock and key, if possible.

Gas BBQs

Check gas bottles for gas levels. Gas bottles have a use-by date, and should be disposed of once they’re past it.

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Matches and candles

Like chemicals, matches should be stowed safely out of children’s way, and if you provide candles, make sure there are candlesticks to put them in.

More info

Building Act

Fire Service

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