On 1 May 2006, the NSW Government introduced new legislation following a series of fatal house fires. Division 7A of the ‘Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000’ calls out the minimum requirements for smoke alarm installation in existing buildings and says that;
– Smoke alarms must comply to Australian Standard 3786:2014 and can be either battery operated or hard wired to mains power.
– A minimum of one working smoke alarm should be installed on each level of a dwelling (even if there are no bedrooms on that level).
Note that whilst this is the minimum required by NSW law, Fire and Rescue NSW recommends installing smoke alarms in all bedrooms and living spaces (including hallways and stairways).
A new section (64A) relating to smoke alarms has also been added to the NSW Residential Tenancies Act 2010. This new section came into effect on March 2020 and placed extra obligations for smoke alarms on landlords in accordance with the Rental Tenancies Regulation 2019. It states that landlords must replace a smoke alarm within 10 years of manufacture and ensure the smoke alarm is tested at least annually.
Direct links to the NSW Government website are posted below if you would like to read the legislative documents for yourself.
Fire and Rescue NSW recommend smoke alarm best practice above and beyond minimum legal NSW requirements – refer to the direct link below.