Most building fire fatalities occur while people are asleep. A smoke alarm is an effective early warning device designed to detect smoke and alert building occupants to the presence of a fire. Installed in the correct location, it increases the time available for safe escape.
Since 2006 when the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Regulation 2006 came into effect, smoke alarms have been mandatory in all homes and other shared accommodation buildings where people sleep.
The Smoke Alarms Regulation specifies which types of buildings need smoke alarms installed, the types of alarms, where they are to be located and other matters. For more information visit the Smoke alarm page on the Fire and Rescue NSW website or the Department of Planning website.
Responsibilities of landlords and tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act are:
- Landlords are responsible for installing smoke alarms in rented premises.
- Landlords have the right of access to rented premises to fit or maintain smoke alarms after giving the tenant at least 2 days notice.
- Neither the landlord nor the tenant are, except with reasonable excuse, permitted to remove or interfere with the operation of a smoke alarm fitted in the rented premises.
- Where a smoke alarm is of the type that has a replaceable battery, it is recommended that the landlord put a new battery in at the commencement of a tenancy.
- After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery if needed. Fire and Rescue NSW can assist elderly tenants or those physically unable to change a smoke detector battery.
- The condition report includes a specific reference to smoke alarms so that tenants and landlords are able to note and comment on the presence of smoke alarms at the beginning and end of the tenancy.
Information from NSW Fair Trading website