Contributed article

Safeguard properties from drugs

18 April 2018

Property owners and managers can safeguard their rental properties by screening for ice and methamphetamine residue thanks to Smoke Alarm Solutions.

Smoke Alarm Solutions is now screening for ice and methamphetamine residue as part of its new partnership with Meth Screen. 

Crystal methamphetamine costs Australia an estimated $4.4 billion a year(1), with the number of regular addicts who use ice as their main form of methamphetamine soaring 35 per cent to 57 per cent in the past year(2).

The partnership will see Smoke Alarm Solutions screen properties for residual meth contaminants, absorbed by floorings, walls, ducting and any furnishings or fixtures and determine if a previous tenant or occupant used or manufactured ice.

Smoke Alarm Solutions CEO Cameron Davis said landlords and real estate agents who value their tenants will adopt meth screening.

“The use of ice is on the rise and a large number of illegal drug labs have been found all over the New South Wales, especially in residential areas. 

“Together with Meth Screen, Smoke Alarm Solutions team will assist buyers, investors, property managers and home owners with the management of meth contamination in their properties.”

There are many short-term health effects associated with exposure to meth residue, including headaches, nausea, burning skin, dizziness, breathing difficulty, sleeplessness and behavioural issues.

Long-term, prolonged exposure to meth residue also increases the risk of damage to kidneys and liver and birth defects.

Smoke Alarm Solutions has the largest field service capability in the industry, with more than 200 professionally trained employees and has conducted more than 1.5 million inspections since 2007.

Meth Screen Managing Director Ryan Matthews said he’s honoured to partner with Smoke Alarm Solutions.

“In addition to ensuring your property is smoke alarm compliant, the Smoke Alarm Solutions team can now screen for ice and methamphetamine residue.

Australians have been manufacturing and using meth for the past 20 years, with the nation one of the highest users of the drug globally.

“There are thousands of contaminated properties throughout the state, causing serious health issues for the countless New South Wales residents.

“It’s essential post tenancy meth screening is carried out on all rental properties to guarantee the safety of the house or unit for future tenants, while protecting the owner’s asset.”

Mr Matthews warned against using DIY testing kits which have a history of providing incorrect readings for the presence of meth.

“Meth Screen uses lab-based testing to ensure accuracy and give buyers, investors, property managers and home owners peace of mind.

“Unfortunately, some operators use cheap, internet available options like the infield - instant answer - testing kits to screen for meth. In many instances, these kits have stated meth is both present when it is not and vice versa, raising serious questions as to the validity of this screening method.”

In extreme cases, decontamination can cost tens of thousands and require removal of carpet, curtains and plaster boards. Furniture and soft furnishings would also need to be destroyed.

In cases of mild contamination, a property may be decontaminated effectively and quickly, so levels are within the Australian Government guidelines.

Smoke Alarm Solutions is the largest provider of smoke alarm compliance and maintenance services to the Australian real estate industry. To arrange a test please email [email protected] 

(1) Australian Institute of Criminology
(2) Cracks in the Ice / Australian Government