Passive Fire Protection

Passive Fire measures are designed to stop (or slow) the spread of fire from one part of the building to another. Most buildings have Passive Fire protection measures – even if they are not specifically listed on the AFSS.

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Emergency Lights

In an emergency situation emergency lights should run on their backup battery for at least 90-minutes. Australian Standards require that exit & emergency lights be tested every 6 months. Exit and emergency lights have a shorter lifespan when compared to non-emergency lights.

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Smoke Alarms & Landlord Obligations

Landlords have clear obligations when it comes to the installation, repair and maintenance of smoke alarms.
So who is responsible for what?
Landlords can engage Civil Fire to fulfil their obligations for $75 + GST each year.

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Safe Passage Fire Exit

Paths of Travel

Maintaining exits, and clear paths of travel to exits is critical in ensuring occupants can escape in the event of an emergency. So what are the requirements?

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Fire Sprinkler

Fire Sprinklers

Fire sprinklers are a highly effective method of fire suppression. But in order for them to operate effectively they need to have adequate clearance and coverage. We’ll explore some of the common issues we see with sprinklers in residential strata buildings.

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Soft Touch Door Closers

Fire doors must be able to self-close and self-latch after every opening, which is why it is mandatory for fire doors to have closers. Are you finding that your closer is making your fire door feel so heavy that you can barely open it? There is a solution!

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Fines from FRNSW for false alarms

We often take calls from residents (fire alarm blaring in the background) who are afraid to call 000, because they think their building will be fined if it turns out to be a false alarm.

This is a common misconception.


FRNSW cannot issue fines for any calls made to 000.  When a fire alarm is activated in your building, you should always call 000.

The Fire and Rescue NSW Act 1989, Sect 42 allows FRNSW to charge for attending false alarm call-outs that are generated from MONITORED fire detection systems only.

What is a monitored system?

A monitored system automatically calls the fire brigade when an alarm is activated. 

The fire indicator panel has an ASE (alarm signalling equipment) installed that monitors the system status. If an alarm is activated this devices transmits a signal to the monitoring company, who in turn dispatches FRNSW.

If your system is not monitored, the fire brigade will only attend if someone calls 000.

Fines for false alarms for monitored systems

The current charge by FRNSW for false alarms (for monitored systems only) is $1,600. + GST.

But… not all false alarms are chargeable:

  • The first false alarm in a 60 day period will not be charged. Any false alarms that occur within 60 days of the first alarm will be charged.
  • Only the first alarm will be charged in a 24 hour period. If multiple alarms occur after the first, they are considered a single event.


FRNSW invoices the monitoring company, who in turn invoices building owners or managers.

FRNSW does not support charges being passed on to individual occupants, although exceptions may apply.

Why is there a charge for false alarms?

False alarms divert precious FRNSW resources that would otherwise be available for genuine emergencies. Not to mention, responding to false alarms costs us tax payers a whole lot of money!!!

False alarm charges are fines intended to encourage building owners to maintain fire alarm systems efficiently and effectively and to educate occupants of common causes of false alarms (cooking, aerosols etc).

Can the false alarm fine be waived under any circumstances?

Yes, under certain circumstances, the fine can be waived.

Pursuant to section 43 of the Fire Brigades Act 1989, waiver or reduction of AFA false alarm charges is at the discretion of the Commissioner.

A building owner or manager can seek a waiver for the false alarm charge through their monitoring company. The monitoring company will provide advice on the process and documentation required to request a waiver.

The application for waiver must be made not more than 180 calendar days from the FRNSW invoice date.

Read this guide from FRNSW for more details.

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