Is your rental property up to scratch when it comes to fire safety? The Queensland government has updated its smoke alarm regulations with vital revisions for landlords. As of January last year, legislation requires all rental property owners to install interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms throughout the dwelling.While this is standard for all Queensland homes, rental properties must meet these obligations by January 1, 2022.Here’s everything you need to know to get cracking.If an alarm isn’t working, landlords are responsible for replacing it immediately. Picture: Kate HunterGet new smoke alarmsCommunity Engagement Manager of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Inspector Alan Musk says photoelectric alarms are replacing ionisation models as the preferred type for residential properties.While ionisation types detect heat, photoelectric alarms detect smoke offering occupants a greater chance to address and escape fire threats, he explains.Landlords are required to replace their alarms with photoelectric models and ensure they are interconnected to respond simultaneously to hazards. The new laws require each alarm to be either be hardwired to the main electrical source and have a back-up battery, or powered by a 10-year non-removable battery.Check expiry datesInspector Musk urges landlords to double-check the expiry date of their current alarms.“Smoke alarms have a 10-year life. They normally have an expiry date on them and if they’ve expired you have to replace them,” he warns.Similarly, if an alarm isn’t working, landlords must replace it immediately.Where to put your alarmsThe new regulations state an alarm should be placed in every bedroom and along hallways connecting them. If the house has multiple levels, an alarm must be placed on each storey.Finally, place an alarm along the ‘exit route’ or near the point of exit, Inspector Musk says.If installing new alarms or building a new property the alarms should not be placed within 30cm of a wall or light fitting, or 40cm from an air-conditioning vent or the blades of a ceiling fan. Furthermore, try to keep them slightly removed from windows or doors that could enable air flow to intercept the early detection of smoke.What to do if you’re getting new tenantsIf leasing a property to someone new, landlords must clean and test the smoke alarms at least 30 days before the tenants move in.Smoke alarms must be cleaned and tested before new tenants move in. Picture: Kate HunterIf a hardwired alarm needs replacing, you must replace it with a photoelectric model in accordance with the new regulations, Inspector Musk confirms.Obligations of the tenantThe person living in the home is required to clean and test alarms at least once a year, replacing any dead batteries. If there’s something else wrong with the device, the tenants should contact their landlord or property manager immediately so the issue can be rectified.“The real estate agent can often organise for a contractor to come through and ensure you meet the legislation, that the smoke alarms operate and the batteries are fine,” Inspector Musk says. “This should happen around once a year.”All information provided by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
Batesville City Council members agreed with the proposal to raise water rates after hearing from Batesville Utility Service Board members Henry Pictor and Tim Dietz.If the ordinance is adopted next month, tenants could pay 40 percent more in 2014 and additional 10 percent in 2015 and 2016.The increase could assist the utility board as it searches for new sources to obtain water. Pictor addressed concerns with the life span of local reservoirs.“We built a good system. We had five reservoirs. But those reservoirs are heading towards obsolescence,” Pictor told council members on Nov. 13.He described Bishoff Lake having just ten feet of usable water since the bottom water contains too much silt. A long drought period could contribute to only three or four months of water supply for the city, according to Pictor.“In no way are we in a water crisis, but in the chance of a severe drought, or a couple droughts, no one knows,” said Batesville Mayor Rick Fledderman. “And it is not something the board, the council, or myself want to take a risk on.”Pictor said money is better spent on pursuing ground water as opposed to surface water. The ground water could be accessed from an aquifer.Though the water utility currently has funds in the bank, the additional revenue gained from the hike in water rates could contribute toward the 2014-2018 Batesville Water & Gas Utility capital improvement plans.“Number one is pursuing and coming up with a long term water supply,” Mayor Fledderman noted. He added that proposed water rates could make the city rate adequate and continue providing a suitable water supply to residents.“If we don’t have adequate funding to provide first class water supply it is going to hurt the overall community,” Fledderman mentioned.“I know people who are on fixed incomes and we very sympathetic towards that,” Fledderman said. “But with the increases, it will still have us towards the bottom of comparative communities.”If approved, the ordinance goes into effect Feb. 1, 2014.
Press Association His conviction appears to be unwavering. In a new post on his Twitter feed, the 34-year-old has written ‘Rien a ajouter’, which when translated reads ‘Nothing to add’. Pertinently, Anelka includes a link to a video clip on Le Figaro that shows an interview with Roger Cukierman, president of Crif, the council representing French Jewish institutions. In the short 40-second segment, Cukierman claims Anelka’s gesture was not anti-Semitic and that he should not be heavily punished. The FA have the power to sentence him to a minimum five-match ban. Cukierman said: “It seems a bit severe to me because it seems to me that this gesture only has an anti-Semitic connotation if the gesture is made in front of a synagogue or a memorial to the Holocaust. “When it’s made in a place which is not specifically Jewish it seems to me that it’s a slightly anarchic gesture of revolt against the establishment, which doesn’t deserve severe sanctions.” Other pressure groups, however, have called for Anelka to be handed more than a five-game suspension due to his lack of an apology. Jonathan Arkush, vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told Press Association Sport: “I know under the rules that on a first-time offence there is a minimum five-game suspension. “But I think what he did was sufficiently serious to justify a longer suspension than five matches. Nicolas Anelka has offered a cryptic insight into how he might plead after the Football Association charged him over his controversial ‘quenelle’ salute. “He has not indicated one bit of remorse or regret or apologised for his actions. “He has simply said he wouldn’t do it again and that is not good enough.” The quenelle has been described as an inverted Nazi salute and was created by French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, who has been prosecuted for anti-Semitism. Anelka is a friend of Dieudonne’s and the player has insisted his salute was a gesture of support and aimed at the French establishment. Mark Gardner, of the Community Security Trust, which advises the Jewish community on security and anti-Semitism, said the FA should take action against Anelka. He said: “Anelka has introduced a very ugly phenomenon into British football. “Anelka’s action risks the ‘quenelle’ being taken up by actual anti-Semites and used against British Jews: as it has been in France and elsewhere. “The FA should throw the book at him.” West Brom striker Anelka has until 6pm on Thursday to respond to the charge he made an improper gesture, and that it was an aggravated breach in that it included “a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief”. Anelka has long maintained the gesture he made after scoring in West Brom’s 3-3 draw at West Ham on December 28 was not anti-Semitic, as condemned by many, but instead anti-establishment.
Panasonic recently announced the long-awaited V-Log picture profile for their GH4. The cost to upgrade is $99. Here’s why it’s worth it.When Panasonic first teased customers with the prospect of V-Log, the response was overwhelming. It quickly became very clear that GH4 owners desperately wanted the ability to shoot in a Log color space, and for the last year or so, many users have been eagerly anticipating the release.As of last week, V-Log was finally officially announced — but the announcement came with a catch: the upgrade wouldn’t be free and would cost current users $99 to upgrade. While some GH4 owners were upset by this, I personally understand the upgrade pricing. It’s not the first time a camera manufacturer has charged for a firmware update, and while the $99 isn’t cheap, it isn’t outrageous either. In my opinion, the upgrade is well worth our money for these three reasons:1. Added Dynamic RangeWith V-Log enabled, you’re now able to capture twelve stops of dynamic range with the GH4, which is about two stops more than any other picture profile — and those 2 stops will go a very long way. Under certain circumstances it may mean that you need less lighting and/or grip gear, and the upgrade could potentially pay for itself on your first shoot.This video shows us the cinematic potential of the new V-Log format:2. More Flexibility in PostFor anyone out there like myself, who enjoys color grading — this update is for you. Not only will your images have more dynamic range, but you’ll have a far greater ability to grade the images in the editing room. If you’ve ever color corrected log footage, you know how much more freeing it can be when compared to working in a Rec 709 color space.3. LUT IntegrationOver the years, many LUTs (Look Up Tables) have been created for log footage, and now they’ll all be compatible with your GH4 footage. You could theoretically use an ARRI ALEXA LUT (or any other LUT designed for Log) with your GH4 footage and get some very instant results that may not need a whole lot of tweaking. Not to mention, one of the biggest issues with the GH4 in the past (for me at least) has been skin tones. The combination of Log and the right LUT will help with that immensely.There are also a lot of really good free LUT resources online. This article from Johnny Elwyn shares a few links to a few free resources.Pricing and AvailabilityThe new V-Log update for the Panasonic GH4 will cost $99.99 and be available mid-September.Are you excited about the new v-log format in the GH4? Share your thoughts in the comments below.