The State Government’s mandatory smoke alarm law has been in place since 2006 and carries a maximum penalty of $300.
It was introduced after a spate of home fires in 2005, which caused 13 deaths in NSW during a 2 week period. This led NSW, Victoria and South Australia to adopt to law.
In NSW, smoke alarms must be fitted in every storey of every house or dwelling (apartments, hostels and hotels) and in rooms where people sleep.
It is an offence to interfere with or remove a smoke alarm unless for maintenance or replacement.
Selecting an alarm
Private dwellings require an Australian Standard 3786 hard-wired smoke alarm.
Fire and Rescue NSW recommends photo-electric alarms.
The number of alarms needed depends on the size and shape the building.
A private dwelling needs an alarm placed on the ceiling in an area between sleeping and living areas (such as a hallway leading to a bedroom), as well as in any other storey of the same building, even if it does not contain bedrooms.
To find out more, see Smoke Alarms on the Fire and Rescue NSW website.
For more information, call the Environment and Planning Directorate: Development Programs Officers on 02 8757 9000.