NSW Fire and Rescue


Today I joined Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters to urge our community to replace their smoke alarms on the 10th anniversary since smoke alarms became compulsory in NSW homes. Smoke alarms need to be replaced at least every 10 years because of dust, humidity and age and so many alarms are now reaching their ‘best before’ date.

In NSW, all dwellings where people sleep must have at least one working smoke alarm per level. FRNSW recommends having smoke alarms installed in all bedrooms for maximum protection.

We know that smoke alarms save lives, which is why the NSW Government made them compulsory in all homes 10 years ago. But it’s easy to forget about our alarms once they are installed. Throughout May, FRNSW is encouraging local residents to ‘ReAlarm’ their homes against fire, by replacing old alarms with more effective photoelectric smoke alarms either connected to the home’s electrical system by an electrician or with 10-year lithium batteries.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said smoke alarms are also mandatory for all caravans, campervans, and other moveable dwellings where people sleep – even if the vehicle is kept off the road.

“Photoelectric smoke alarms have fewer false alarms and are more effective at detecting the types of fires that are most likely to result in a home fire death – smouldering fires,” he said.

According to FRNSW a fire can take hold in just three minutes filling your home with deadly smoke.


A working smoke alarm gives you vital seconds to get out before you’re overcome. But remember, only working smoke alarms help save lives which is why alarms connected to the home’s wiring, or with 10-year lithium batteries, are recommended.


If you need help checking or replacing the battery in your smoke alarm, contact your local fire station and ask about the Smoke Alarm and Battery Replacement (SABRE) program for seniors and people with disabilities.