Whitehorse City Council

Safety Around the Home

Building owners are responsible for regularly maintaining essential safety measures such as smoke alarms and barriers to pools and spas, as well as termite management.  

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are compulsory and must be installed in every residential building on or near the ceiling of every storey

  • If you rent, your landlord must make sure smoke alarms are installed and kept in working condition
  • Check that your smoke alarm is working by depressing the button on its outside
  • Replace your smoke alarm battery on an annual basis (if the battery is lithium ion, every 10 years)
  • If your smoke alarm emits a warning sound, a high-pitched single beep every 30 seconds, replace its battery
  • Clean your alarm regularly to remove dust particles
  • Familiarise yourself with the manufacturer's maintenance guidelines


Whitehorse is among the 70% of Victoria's municipalities that are now declared termite prone areas. It is important that all home owners actively consider what precautions they need to take against termites. Reducing the risk of termite invasion, whether your home is new or old, is relatively easy, if simple precautions are taken. The following tips will help reduce your home's risk of termite attack:  

  • Have an expert inspect your home for termite activity. This costs between $200 and $300 
  • Speak to an expert if you uncover what you think are termites. Do not disturb the site
  • Invest in physical or chemical termite barriers, when building or extending your home
  • Chemical treatments last for about five years, so have an expert re-inspect and reapply the treatment regularly
  • Remove tree stumps and the roots of old trees from around your home
  • Do not store logs or firewood against your house
  • Ensure your home is inspected at least every five years by an expert, or preferably annually
  • Before buying a home, have a pre-purchase inspection done, which should include a termite inspection
  • Maintain your existing termite barrier systems. If you renovate your home or change the garden you may break the barrier, so check with an expert