Fire protection in buildings

Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms are compulsory and must be installed in all dwellings, including holiday homes and caravans.

Smoke alarms are meant to protect you while you are sleeping. Therefore, you should locate smoke alarms in places that will wake all occupants in the home and give them time to evacuate.

Smoke alarms should be located on or near the ceiling of every storey outside all bedrooms. Avoid putting smoke alarms near cooking appliances and bathrooms as the alarms are sensitive and can be set off from the shower steam or smoke from the burning toast.

Compliant smoke alarms

Existing dwellings can have battery operated smoke alarms provided they comply with Australian Standard AS 3786-1993. However, all new houses and new additions to houses require mains powered smoke alarms with battery back-up complying with AS 3786-1993.

The owners of dwellings are responsible in ensuring that smoke alarms are installed and kept in working condition.

More information

To find out more about buying smoke alarms and where to place them, call our Building Services team on 9243 8888

Fire protection requirements for accommodation buildings

What are accommodation buildings?

Accommodation buildings include the following buildings:

  • boarding house
  • guest house
  • hostel
  • lodging-house
  • backpackers’ accommodation
  • residential part of a motel or hotel, residential part of a school, accommodation for the aged, children or people with disabilities
  • residential part of a health-care building
  • residential part of a detention centre

Compulsory fire protection requirements for all accommodation buildings

Accommodation buildings must have either of the following:

  • smoke alarms complying with AS 3786-1993 in appropriate locations on or near the ceiling of every storey of the building and in every sole occupancy unit. The smoke alarms must be powered from the mains electricity power supply; or
  • a smoke detection system complying with AS 1670.1—2004 – Part 1 published 29 April 2004 and must be connected to, and be designed to activate, a building occupant warning system

The owners of accommodation buildings who fails to comply with this requirement is guilty of an offence and is liable to a penalty.

Automatic sprinkler systems

A fire sprinkler system complying with AS 2118.1-1999 or AS 2118.4-1995 (whichever is appropriate) must be installed throughout all existing boarding houses, chalets, guest houses, lodging houses, backpackers accommodation or the like, and all residential parts of a hotel offering shared accommodation only where the buildings were constructed for which a building approval or building permit was granted before 1 July 2003 and only if the buildings have:

  • more than one sole-occupancy unit with sleeping facilities capable of accommodating three or more unrelated persons; or
  • sleeping facilities capable of accommodating 13 or more unrelated persons

The owner of the building is responsible in ensuring that the sprinkler system is installed by the due date.

Read about exemptions from automatic sprinkler system

Read about automatic sprinkler system for shared accommodation buildings

Read about maintaining fire safety equipment in exits

Last updated: Sunday, 23 April 2017, 4:55 AM