NSW – HENDRY building certifiers advise that the NSW Department of Planning have recently issued Building Regulation Advisory Note BS 11 001 to advise practitioners and the community of the new requirement to provide smoke alarms to all moveable dwellings under EPAA and AS 3786-1993 Smoke Alarms not covered in the Building Code of Australia (BCA). 

On February 25, 2011, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPAA) requirement for smoke alarms to all residential buildings (dating from 2006), was expanded to include a moveable dwelling.  A moveable dwelling is defined by the EPAA as campervans, caravans, park vans, rigid annexes and associated structures, etc, but does not include tents or manufactured/ relocatable homes covered by other legislation. 

Irrespective of whether the moveable dwelling is road registered or not, and irrespective of wherever the moveable dwelling stands or is passing through NSW, smoke alarms must be installed for all moveable dwellings that are being used for sleeping under EPAA. 

Some fast facts about the new EPAA requirements that affect a movable dwelling: 

  • A 6 month grace period for smoke alarm compliance until the25 August 2011applies;
  • An AS 3786-1993 smoke alarm fitted with a hush button is required;
  • Heat alarms are not permitted;
  • A smoke alarm must be installed to all sleeping areas, i.e. an attached annexe to a caravan may be utilised as a bedroom and therefore requires an additional installation;
  • A licensed electrician must install hard wired smoke alarms, otherwise battery operated alarms can be installed by the moveable dwelling owner;
  • The owner of the moveable dwelling, not the owner of the land, is responsible for ensuring that a functioning smoke alarm is installed and maintained;
  • $200 on-the-spot fines for failing to have a functioning smoke alarm after the 6 month grace period, will apply.

For further information on EPAA amendments for a movable dwelling including AS 3786, refer to the Department of Planning’s website.

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