Fire Safety - Upgrading your building
Lives have been lost, homes have been destroyed and families have been devastated by the affects of smoke and fire which could have been avoided by the early warning provided by a properly fitted and maintained smoke alarm.
In accordance with the Building Legislation Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Act, 2005, it is compulsory for smoke alarms to be fitted in all existing dwellings including home units and other buildings where people sleep such as houses, motels, boarding houses and caretaker flats. It is a requirement to install smoke alarms in all newly constructed buildings of this nature under provisions of the Building Code of Australia.
Council recommends that hard wired (240 volt) smoke alarms with battery backup, be fitted to the ceiling adjacent to the doorways of bedrooms in all residential dwellings and on each other floor level of a dwelling that does not contain a bedroom, although a battery operated alarm installed as per the standard will comply with Smoke Alarms Act for buildings approved prior to 1997.
A licensed electrician can supply and fit a smoke alarm complying with the Australian Standards for between $100 - $150 (subject to suitable access) and compliant battery models are only about $20 from a hardware store. This is a small price to pay if it saves a life.
Multi Unit and Non Residential Buildings
Under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, owners of buildings including commercial or industrial premises, residential flat buildings etc. have a legal obligation to ensure that all fire safety measures within their buildings are maintained to an acceptable standard.
These requirements are in place to reduce the spread of a fire, to facilitate the orderly and safe evacuation of the building in the case of an emergency, to facilitate the fighting of a fire to protect property and to protect the lives of the occupants and fire fighters.
It is the responsibility of the building owner to ensure that:
- All fire safety measures are inspected by a properly qualified person or persons, to ensure the measures are being maintained to the appropriate standard of performance.
- Fire Safety Statements are displayed in a clearly visible position within the building so that Council or NSW Fire Brigade officers can sight them when inspecting the premises.
- All exit doors are kept in good working condition, and corridors or other paths of travel to and within the required exit are kept clear of any obstructions.