1 min read

Do we have to install fire alarms?

Q: I’m looking for some advice in relation to fire alarm systems. Can you please advise if there is a legal requirement in South Australia to have a fire alarm system in place? If so, which piece of legislation governs this and is there guidance around how the system operates?

A: Section 71 of The Development Act 1993 (SA) sets out three fire safety ‘priorities’ which the Act sets to achieve and also prescribes that building owners must adhere to the fire safety objectives and performance criteria as set out in the Building Code of Australia: “Section 71- Fire Safety (16) Any action taken under this section should seek to achieve, in the following order of priority—

a) firstly, a reasonable standard of fire safety for the occupiers of the relevant building;

b) secondly, the minimal spread of fire and smoke;

c) thirdly, an acceptable fire-fighting environment; in accordance with the fire safety objectives and performance criteria of the Building Code of Australia.”

The Building Code of Australia provides the relevant standards for smoke alarms in residential and commercial buildings. As the standards vary according to different types of buildings, you should consult the Code to determine the legislative requirements that your building must adhere to.

You could also contact the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service to obtain further information.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Fire safety for current advice.

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