West Australian public housing tenants are at risk of electrocution and fires, according to the state’s auditor-general.
Auditor-General Colin Murphy found systemic weaknesses in the Housing Authority’s capacity to inspect safety devices in the 36,600 properties throughout WA, after it was unable to confirm whether all of them had working smoke alarms and electrical safety devices.
“Housing needs to address the concerns around safety devices otherwise they continue to put tenants and properties at some risk from electrocution and fire,” Mr Murphy said in a report.
The audit sampled 90 property records and found all lacked complete and accurate electrical safety device information, with three properties said to have working devices despite photographic evidence showing they didn’t.
Mr Murphy said it was critical the authority improved its safety device management given there were four fires and 18 electrical incidents in public housing each month.
The Housing Authority last month commenced a $26 million program to identify and replace non-compliant residual current devices and smoke alarms, and collect baseline information, which is expected to take three years.
“For this program to be a success it is important that Housing address the systemic weaknesses we found in property inspections, data collection and management oversight,” Mr Murphy said.