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NSW Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) Fire Safety Standard

Short Term Rental Accommodation guests face additional safety risks than those of permanent residents, as they are less familiar with the dwelling and its surrounds. The new fire safety standards seek to reduce risks to guests though enhanced early warning, additional safety measures and education.

In a nutshell, all dwellings must:

  • Install either main powered smoke alarms or long life, sealed battery powered smoke alarms in:
    • dwelling floor levels containing bedrooms, every corridor or hallway associated with a bedroom, or if there is no corridor or hallway, in an area between the bedrooms and the remainder if the building; and
    • each other storey not containing bedrooms.
  • Smoke alarms must comply with AS 3786.
  • Smoke alarms must be interconnected where there is more than one alarm.

Stand alone dwellings must also install heat alarms in garages located beneath dwellings located above. This would be required only where the garage is not accessible to the guest/s. Heat alarms must comply with AS 1603.3/2018

While these are great improvements to increase guest safety, it’s not as stringent as Queensland Legislation which states all bedrooms must have a photoelectric smoke alarm installed.

Why? Consider these scary facts:

  1. Recent research has shown that when a fire starts in a bedroom with the door closed, the smoke alarms in the hallway do not activate. Even with the bedroom door open, the hallway smoke alarm may not activate in time to allow people in the bedrooms to get out. It makes sense, therefore, that smoke alarms should be installed inside bedrooms.

  2. While sound can disrupt sleep, scents cannot. People cannot rely on their sense of smell to awaken them to the danger of fire.

  3. 30 to 40 years ago you had about 15 minutes to escape a house fire. Today, due to the increased use of plastics and synthetic materials in the modern home, means you may have LESS THAN 3 minutes to wake up and escape from a fire in your home!

Please note that other requirements are needed for other building types such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets. Make sure you’re up to speed with everything that’s required for your short term rental property.

Click here for the full Short-term Rental Accommodation Fire Safety Standard.

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