Compulsory Smoke Alarms

Following the introduction of The Environmental Planning and Assessment (Smoke Alarms) Regulation 2006, smoke alarms are now compulsory in certain buildings, new and existing.

The new smoke alarm requirements apply to the following residential building types as classified

the Building Code of Australia (BCA):

* houses and townhouses, etc. (Class 1a buildings)

* apartments and blocks of flats (Class 2 buildings)

* residences above shops and caretaker flats (Class 4 parts of buildings), and;

* relocatable homes such as manufactured homes and certain moveable dwellings. (Tents, campervans and caravans are not affected by these requirements.)

* Requirements also apply to other building types Class 1b, 3 and 9a buildings.

Smoke alarms must comply with Australian Standard AS3786 (1993) and be clearly labelled accordingly.

Council will require smoke alarms to be installed prior to the issue of a Building Certificate or Occupancy Certificate after 1 May 2006.

The NSW Fire Brigades website provides information for the community, including the types of alarms available and their maintenance. Advice for landlords, tenants, the aged, and people with hearing impairments is also available. All residents are urged to seek the correct advice at www.fire.nsw.gov.au. Phone the Smoke Alarms Help Line on 1300 858 812, or email smoke.alarms@planning.nsw.gov.au.

A copy of the regulation can be downloaded from the NSW Planning website. An advisory note and fact sheets are also available from the NSW Planning website, and these should be perused prior to purchase and installation of alarms.

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