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A guide to the new fire safety standards for short-term rental accommodation

May 31, 2021

Dwellings classed as short term rental accommodation have been hit with new fire safety legislation. Here’s what you need to know. 

The NSW Government has recently introduced several new regulations for buildings classed as Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA), which includes Airbnbs and other holiday rentals. One of the major changes is the new Fire Safety Standards, which will come into effect from 1 November 2021. 

If you’re someone who rents their dwelling out for the short term, it’s crucial that you understand what these changes mean for you. Failure to comply could lead to penalties. To help you prepare, we’ve put together this guide to navigating the new fire safety standards for STRAs.

What’s changed? 

In summary, all STRA dwellings will be required to:

  • Meet the new minimum standards
  • Install evacuation diagrams in each bedroom and common area
  • Develop an evacuation plan and install interconnected smoke alarms 
  • Be registered on the Government-run STRA register to confirm compliance with the new fire safety standards. 

What do you need to do?

 

Smoke and heat alarms

The new legislation states that your alarms must be compliant with AS3786 and located in hallways outside bedrooms, on each storey, and installed on the ceiling. They must also be interconnected and powered by the main electricity supply with a battery back-up. 

      • How can we help? As part of Fire Block Plans’ compliance package, we can locate and test each of your smoke and/or heat alarms and confirm they’re in the correct position, and that they are compliant with the requirements of the new STRA Fire Safety Standard. 

Evacuation Diagrams

It is essential that you install Evacuation Diagrams within each bedroom, in compliance with the STRA Fire Safety Standard requirements. Evacuation diagrams show information that is essential in case of emergency. In accordance with AS3745 they must, at a minimum, show the fire equipment, designated exit points, emergency assembly points and evacuation routes. They must be situated throughout common areas and general paths of travel in areas where they are easily seen. 

      • How can we help? As part of our compliance package, we can assess your property to determine the emergency assembly area and ‘you are here’ locations. Evacuation Diagrams will be provided for each bedroom and common area, and will comply with the STRA Fire Safety Standard and AS3745-2010. We can re-visit your property and install these diagrams for you, or we can send them to you to print and install for a reduced fee.

General Emergency Advice Sheet

As part of the new legislation, STRA hosts will be required to provide short term tenants with a General Emergency Advice sheet. 

      • How can we help? To help make your life easier, our emergency management specialists can create an Emergency Advice Sheet tailored to your STRA, including:
      1. Location and contact details of the nearest hospital, fire station, and police station
      2. Emergency facilities contact details (e.g., electrician, plumber)
      3. Building management details (if applicable) 
      4. A site map showing the chosen assembly area for your STRA.

We will provide this in a display case to be installed in the common area during our initial site visit, so your tenants can find all the information they need in an emergency.

Portable fire extinguishers and blankets

All homes should have at least one portable fire extinguisher and fire blanket, and some STRA’s now need these to comply with the Fire Safety Standard.

      • How can we help? We offer two options to help keep your dwelling fire-safe. Either we can visit the site and install your portable fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the best location to comply with AS2444 and the STRA Fire Safety Standard, or we can ship the portable fire extinguisher and fire blanket directly to you, for you to install yourself for a reduced fee.

We’re here to take the stress off your shoulders

Fire Block Plans are specialists in fire safety and emergency management planning. We’ll provide you with everything you could need to meet the requirements of the STRA Fire Safety Standard, through our comprehensive compliance package:

  •  Smoke alarm testing and upgrade
  •  A Certificate of Compliance that you can use when you register your STRA online
  • Emergency Advice Sheet tailored for your property
  • Portable fire extinguishers and fire blankets installation
  • Assessment of egress doors (for class 2 and 4 properties)
  • Evacuation Diagram drafting and installation

Contact us today to talk more about your STRA and its compliance needs! 

 

Ready to improve your building’s fire safety practices? Fire Block Plans is here to help you and your team. Our highly-qualified experts will help find a suitable emergency evacuation plan, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.