The key to reducing the risk of fire occurring in your home, and to surviving a house fire, is being prepared. Everyone in your household should understand what risks there are in your home and what to do to minimise them.
Fire & Rescue NSW provides excellent advice on fire safety for your home. They also have a great home fire safety audit tool.
Compulsory smoke alarms
Smoke alarms are compulsory in properties where people sleep – houses, units, commercial residences (hotels, backpacker hostels, boarding houses) and even moveable dwellings (caravans and motor homes).
The NSW Government introduced these laws because smoke alarms save lives. They can detect a fire well before the smell or heat would wake a sleeping person.
Smoke alarms are reasonably priced and readily available. You can choose whether to install units powered from the mains electricity supply (by hardwiring) or by batteries.
Any smoke alarm that complies with Australian Standard 3786–1993 will meet the legal requirements. The size of your property will determine how many fire alarms you need.
It is an offence to interfere with or remove an existing smoke alarm, unless it is to repair, maintain or replace the alarm.
More information on smoke alarm laws is available from the NSW Department of Planning & Environment.