Ensure your House Smoke Detectors Meet Current Regulations (AUS)

Power Up! I researched this information after our rental-home smoke-detector beeping beeped at 2.30am yesterday morning. At the time I also asked on Facebook (in a KI Q&A group) what should be done in the short term: All my good friends on Kangaroo Island suggested the 9Volt battery needed replacing. Yes, there is one inside the device.

Here’s where the issue lies:

  1. We believe the noise was the actual smoke detector noise, not the battery-dying noise.
    That was worrying, which is why I went straight to FB to ask in the forums. I imagined someone else might have experienced this and knew exactly what to do. Many great responses were provided, and I learnt a lot. There’s no saying if we were wrong or right in our decision, but I feel we did the right thing.
  2. We only moved into the house 3 weeks ago. Which got me thinking.
    Should it be responsibility of the tenant leaving OR the new tenant to replace the battery? Maybe the previous tenant should be required to indicate on the ‘final paperwork’ when they replaced the smoke-detector battery?

Short Back and Sides Mid afternoon, after all electrical problems in our house were fixed, I found these three websites – and was amazed by the information so much that I felt it prudent that all SA home owners, landlords, and renters should read and know. As I suspected we all have obligations and rights, all of which are designed to save lives:

1. CFS \ Fire Safety \ Smoke Alarms

Home owners are required, by Regulation 76B under the Development Act, 1993, to install battery powered or hard-wired (240 volt mains powered) smoke alarms.

  • Houses built since 1 January 1995 must be equipped with hard-wired smoke alarms.
  • All other houses must be equipped with at least 9 volt battery powered smoke alarms.
    [MY TWO CENTS] If you like to keep the house, or getting the rent on it, put in the hard-wired option! [/END]
  • When a house with 9 volt battery powered smoke alarms is sold the new owner has six months to install alarms which are hard-wired to the 240 volt power supply or powered by 10 year life, non-replaceable, non-removable batteries.

Heat Generator Penalties apply for non-compliance.

2. Our State Government provide a simplistic website layout for anyone, either on a computer or smartphone, to obtain the regulatory information easily and quickly provide/explain to your landlord to prove your case.

3. The Real Estate Institute of South Australia also provide quick explanations and simple tips and traps to ensure the correct information is available.

Our issue (and a few others) was resolved within 12 hours. I hope your household wiring, smoke detectors, house alarm, and any other electrical items are repaired or replaced in a timely manner to ensure your house/contents/family are not at risk!

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Never Moving House Again!

​If you ever choose to move house, I highly recommend you do this: Don’t

If you choose to ignore me, then I recommend you follow these steps THREE months prior to removalists arrival:

1. Empty ENTIRE house into front yard.

2. Emtpy every cupboard, drawer, cabinet, shoe box, and that plastic container shoved down the back of the bed.

3. Only take back inside that which you have used in last 6 months, or has sentimental value. No, REAL sentimental value. No Troll dolls or Tupperware. 

4. Have a $1-$5 garage sale for everything in the front yard. GET RID OF IT.

5. Now ask yourself how many people live in the house, and how many of your closest friends are ever invited to your house for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Yep, not enough to warrant having an EIGHT piece set of dishes, cups, bowls, small and big dishes. GET RID OF THE EXCESS.

I wish we’d done this. I fear one of these boxes is filled with stuff going straight to landfill upon opening.

Capturing the Most Ferocious Animals in Australia 

For the last four years, pretty much since my first son was born, we’ve visited Cleland Wildlife Park every Saturday morning.

Whilst it’s been for the benefit our boys to (1) tire them out for a good night’s sleep that night so my wife and I can have a  peaceful evening, plus (2) to show them Australian wildlife up front and personal. Oh, there’s fences for the Tasmanian Devil, the Dingos, and the DropBears (Koalas), but the Ducks, Potoroos, Wallabies and Kangaroos can be patted easily. Just beware the Emu! 

I’ve taken my camera along nearly every time to catch the more ferocious animals in action or asleep.

Unfortunately tomorrow will be our last visit for quite some time. (My regular flat-white coffee will be gotten at Chocol’Art in Kingscote from hereon.)

At least I will have these memories to show our kids how much fun we had together… 

… and that we go again later this year! If not, we will be going to the many National Parks on Kangaroo Island as time permits. Watch out for more videos of me and my boys with wild animals around Australia!

We Have Moved to Kangaroo Island

This time last year we made a BIG decision: To move our family to Kangaroo Island.

Explaining the benefits to each of our families actually didn’t take a lot, but there are a few who have not yet been there.

Yesterday morning I videoed some of my morning walk. Because of the tranquillity of Kingscote, it required very little editing before upload!

The resulting vlog shows one of the BEST reasons for our family relocation:

My morning walks will now be regular, particularly since I don’t have a 24/7 gym available. I had hoped for daily vlogs, but, well, kids.

Birthday Wishes

My relations stopped buying gifts for “everyone over 18” some years ago. I’m guessing I was outvoted. So because my birthday is within weeks of Xmas, I haven’t received a gift from anyone in about 15-20 years. Now I buy gifts for my boys. So my lounge room is cluttered with both franchised and educational toys.

Oh, I ain’t whinging; I am just creating a segue to my point:


Here are the nominations for the best gifts for Dads/Men in 2017, at least for me. This envelope is full, let’s hope I can say the same for my Xmas stocking or Birthday present:


Hard to find

My tastes have changed. Shorts and short-sleeved shirt are going to be my main attire when we move to Kangaroo Island next month. So I won’t wear a watch much – yet I like the feeling of something on my arm. So a classy leather bracelet would suffice.


Dad’s Shop

I really don’t need anything here, but I wouldn’t be opposed to receiving kitchen related gear. I am getting older and coughmaturecough now, so I don’t care for geekery or nerdism stuff anymore. Unless you got me a table top mini arcade . My 4yo would love it too. Just saying.


Yellow Octopus

I managed to find a few things that would look good in my office. A melting clock would allow me to smile about something other than my children. An inflatable pelican would amuse the kids all day long. A scratchable world map would enable my boys and I to see if we are meeting our bucket-list. [ Which means I would need GoodBeerClub subscription ]


A finger watch

Yeah, the title sounds weird. But it looks cool. Yeah, I would need a PhD in Molecular Engineering to read the manual. But it looks cool.


This Is Why I Am Broke

Of all the sites I found, this one displays the most amazing things that I could seriously enjoy having. Yes, yes, I know I said I don’t like clutter. Yet who in the world would dare say no to these??


But since we will be living on Kangaroo Island, this would be my highest preference:
~ A 2 hour scenic flight in a single-wing aircraft.


I have to buy stuff for myself these days. Since I am currently ‘between day-jobs‘, this is not often. My last gift to myself was a box-load of 50 DVD‘s, thankfully most of which I have never seen, for $20 thanks to a Facebook group. Actually, I think my wife paid for that. So, yeah, that was a gift. Thanks Sarah!

Well, thanks for reading, I doubt I will get anything this year. But each time someone asks what I would like, I will send them a direct link to this article. Now, I gotta find the off-switch for the violins …

Printing for More Than Art’s Sake

This story amuses me every time I read it: MissyMwac’s family and friends were gobsmacked when she printed all her phone photosthe concept was completely foreign to them!

Yes, it is satire. Heavy satire.

Yet it is a reminder that very little photography of my children, my nephew’s and niece’s birthdays, nor my family moments, is available to view outside of my archives.

Art is very important, yet printing photography of family & friends enjoying life is the best preservation of history.

That said:

With any available finances, I plan to print and frame more of my Kangaroo Island artwork in 2017.

I’m already planning a selection for exhibition either in Adelaide or on Kangaroo Island (or maybe both) during SALA 2017.

8 Habits Holding Me Back From Being a Successful Father

Forest Do you have what it takes to be a Successful Father? Do you know what that means?

Being a great dad isn’t bringing in the big dollars, it’s bonding with your kids – and learning from each other. That’s been my experience.

As I write this article my 4yo and 2yo sons are trashing the lounge room. It’s barely enough space for our family of four, so I have to let them. Each night we do the ‘clean the house’ lesson.

Most of us, including me, have habits that sometimes get in the way of the way we treat our children. When we don’t remove or edit these habits, being a Father stays elusive – even though you may not realise it.

Over the last four years of being a Dad I have discovered these habits have sometimes held me back. Maybe you will find yourself among them.

Remember, this is just an opinion, maybe you think otherwise. If you do, please leave a comment either below or Twitter!


1. Trying to Sleep In

Anyone who has kids knows sleeping past 7.00am is near impossible. In some households children arise from their slumber around 5.30am.

I use to think that 7.00am is far too early to be getting out of bed – but I have since discovered it is a blessing. When I moved my office back into the house (and dismantled my man-cave), I discovered playing with my children was more fun! Whilst they played around my feet, I found new topics for blogging quicker and with more humor. Both boys now supply enough for their own blog!

Yet I understand that not everyone enjoys mornings. Morning people are full of zippidydoodaa, which can be really annoying for those that just want a few extra milliseconds of REM sleep. I understand that, I remember those times. But I found a new way to get extra sleep – and it costs nothing.

If you have children under three years old, they are probably having midday sleeps. This is a great time to get 30-60 minutes of sleep. Whilst many believe you should be cleaning, vacuuming or picking up toys – what’s the point if the kids are only going to trash it again when they wake up? Okay, I don’t follow that logic. I am a cleaner. I tidy. I pick up toys. It is worth it for piece of mind. But when I need a few moments sleep, I use time where I don’t need to interact with our boys.

Great dads are known for waking up early with their children, sometimes before their kids, so they can start writing articles, editing photographs, responding to emails, and finding paid work to pay for more toys – all without sacrificing either their sanity or family-time!

Conversations with my Two Sons

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2. Unhealthy Mind, Unhealthy Child

When our attitude sucks, our kid’s attitude will too. Ever notice that when you don’t feel like doing anything, nor do your kids? Keep smiling, keep going, and do more than you can – and your kids will copy you. Well, not all the time. But they will want to be more like their father.

My four-year-old son spends a lot of time trying either to be like his mother or myself. It is rarely not funny – because he is so cute.


Educational Book

3. Not Reading

Great dads invest time and effort to ensure their kid’s imagination are fed with either fictional or real knowledge, keeping up with the Aliens in Underpants series, plus learning from inspirational stories

Smart dads invest effort and time appropriately, expanding their child’s knowledge of the world around them.

As JK Rowling said “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” The books we choose our kids to read helps them see so many perspectives, opens their minds to so many new ideas, and allows our imagination to see things that may never be – and that is important. Innovation is not only born from necessity, but from kids who can imagine it.


4. Relying on One Toy

When your child is restricted to only one brand or toy-type, they are less likely to learn how to put square pegs into round holes. When multiple options are at their disposal, kids are more likely to play games never invented, talk (if only in their minds) through the possibilities, and then act on them. Don’t give kids restrictions that stop their learning and imagination.


strawberry in hand

5. Spending Carelessly

Ninty-five percent of the toys you buy for kids were used for five minutes. I don’t need to ask anyone or research this one: Most parents will know this to be a truth. Consequently, special celebrations are wasted, and your children never know what surprise really means.

Stop buying stuff every day, especially when used to bribe kids to get into the car to go food shopping. Make the food the reward – and I don’t mean sweets! Kids who recgonise the taste of vegetables and fruit will learn faster and stay smarter.

Not saving will put you and your kids into long-term poverty – with no easy way to escape the cycle!


6. Watching too much Television

Whilst TV has its place in the home, making it the centre of attention is dangerous. Again without research, but based purely on observation – kid’s minds seem to stagnate and absorb very little information when seated in front of the television for long periods.

That said, if your children are going to spend any amount of time in front of the TV, make sure it is educational. In Australia, ABCKids is our preference. From Tree Fu Tom to Peter Rabbit, almost every nightly program before bed teaches the kids some morals and scruples, and helps to reinforce what parents teach during the day.

As a parent though, television is an escape from the hassles of the day. So I focus on documentaries and epic movies so I get some brain stimulation.


seat

7. Staying in your Comfort Zone

As a Dad myself, I totally get it. Some nights we just want to chillax into the lounge, flick on the idiot box, and veg out for the night. But a life spent sitting is a life without success.

Unless you are a work-at-home dad – but walking occasionally helps the mind to stay active. It’s a habit that has worked well for every father since the beginning of time!

So take your kids for walks in the park or the yard, and introduce them to everything that interests them. They will become better people for the experience and knowledge.


8. Not saying “I Don’t Know”.

Your kids don’t know everything, despite what they tell you. And nor do you. Keep asking your kids questions – it will enlighten both of you. Your kids somehow expand their vocabulary, and you learn what they do and don’t know. When both a child and their father knows when to say “I don’t know” is good for everyone.

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