Smoke alarms: Everything you need to know

Smoke alarms are required in owner occupied homes, rental properties or any other residential building.

Under Division 7A of Part 9 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, and smoke alarm legislation NSW, smoke alarms must be installed in all buildings in NSW where people sleep.

Smoke alarm legislation NSW stipulates that alarms must meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS 3786, Smoke Alarms.

A seller of a home in NSW makes a warranty under the contract for sale of land that the home is fitted with smoke alarms and complies with the legislation. If it found that the seller has breached this warranty, a purchaser may be able to cancel the contract without penalty.

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Download the fact sheet to learn more about smoke alarm legislation in NSW and your obligations when selling a property in NSW.

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NSW legislation stipulates that smoke alarms must be installed on every level of your home. This includes owner occupied homes, rental properties, relocatable homes, caravans and camper-vans or any other residential building where people sleep.

Smoke alarms have been required in homes since May 2006, so if you’re going to sell your home, you must ensure that smoke alarms are installed and working.

Legally, there needs to be at least one working smoke alarm for each level of the home.

The smoke alarms installed must comply with Australian Standard 3789, and the standard should be clearly visible on the packaging.

If you fail to comply with this regulation, you may be subject to a fine. Additionally, it is an offence to remove or interfere with an existing smoke alarm except to maintain, repair or replace it.

Fire and Rescue NSW recommends wherever possible, hard-wired and interconnected smoke alarms are installed.

If your alarms cannot be hard-wired, FRNSW recommends smoke alarms that rely on 10-year lithium batteries.

Under Clause 146A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and Division 7A of Part 9 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, at least one working smoke alarm must be installed on each level in all buildings in NSW where people sleep.

The regulations do not say whether smoke alarms must be hard wired or battery powered, although hard wired with battery back-up is best practice and should be considered when a property is rewired.
Smoke alarms should normally be fitted to the ceiling in the entrance hallway and on any landing.
Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of your investment property where there is a room used as living accommodation.