Liability is limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.
NSW Fire Brigades estimate that 59% of deaths from house fires occur during sleeping hours and 670,000 homes across the state do not have smoke alarms, leaving occupants at risk.
In the last 5 years, 144 house fire deaths have occurred across NSW.
The regulation provides a moratorium for six months from the date of its commencement but all owners need to comply with the regulation on or before 1 November 2006 and after that date, fines can be issued for failure to install smoke alarms in accordance with the regulation.
A new regulation in relation to smoke alarms namely, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Regulation 2006 came into effect on 1 May 2006.
It is also now an offence to interfere with or remove any existing smoke alarm unless it is to repair, maintain or replace the alarm.
Owners of homes that have smoke alarms installed need take no action. Also homes where smoke alarms have been voluntarily installed are not required to take action if their smoke alarms are in good working order and in the right locations.
Effect on house sales
The Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2005 as amended by the regulation requires the vendor under a contract for the sale on which a building is situate to attach to the contract, an additional prescribed document if smoke alarms are required pursuant to the regulation referred to above. The prescribed document is a Statement by the vendor that the building complies with that requirement and a failure to attach that Statement can give the purchaser a right to rescind exercisable with 14 days of the making of the contract.
Type of alarms required?
Any smoke alarm that complies with the Australian Standard (AS3786-1993-smoke alarms) which should be noted on the product packaging will meet the new requirements. These alarms can be hard wired (powered from main electricity supply) or battery operated at the owner’s choice and can be purchased at most hardware, home equipment and building supply stores.
Where to locate?
The number of alarms required in houses will depend on the size and layout of each particular home however, in houses smoke alarms are required on or near the ceiling in the following areas: -
Ø In storeys containing bedrooms: in every corridor or hallway associated with a bedroom, or if there is no corridor or hallway, between the part of the home containing the bedroom and the rest of the dwelling; and
Ø In any storey not containing bedrooms. In these storeys smoke alarms should be located in the path of travel most likely to be used when exiting the home.
Similar provisions apply in relation to home units and flats.
For more information about the types of smoke alarms can be obtained on the NSW Fire Brigade’s website at www.fire.nsw.gov.au/community/athome/smokealarms
 Refer to Disclaimer page. The information contained on or linked to this web site is general information. Nothing on this site is or purports to be advice. You should not rely on any information on or linked to this web site. If you need advice, you should seek personal professional advice based on your own circumstances.Return to News + Events Subscription
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