Fire Safety Rules for Short Term Rentals in NSW, Australia: Is your AirBnB fire safe?

Do you manage or own short-term rental property in New South Wales?

Renting your property via Airbnb,, Stayz or any other online holiday rental platform can be an easy and effective way to generate extra income, but it comes with some fire safety risks as well. The NSW government has introduced a state-wide regulatory framework for short-term rental accommodation (STRA) in 2021. It includes a government-run STRA register and fire safety standards for short-term rental accommodations.

What are STRA Compliance Requirements for Fire Safety in NSW?

Under the NSW law, STRA dwellings need to comply with fire standards. These include:

  • Installation of interconnected smoke alarms in property floor levels containing bedrooms and on every corridor. 
  • Installation of heat alarms in garages beneath houses located above for stand-alone dwellings.
  • Installation of an evacuation plan diagram for every STRA dwelling
  • Registration of all STRA dwellings on Government-run STRA register.
Installation of interconnected smoke alarms

What fire safety equipment should I have in my rental accommodation?

Smoke Alarms

  • Must be interconnected with all alarms if more than one is in the dwelling
  • Must be powered by either the mains electricity supply or a non-removable battery with a 10-year life expectancy
  • Need to be located in hallways outside bedrooms on each story and on the ceiling

Fire Extinguishers and Fire Blankets

Evacuation Diagrams

  • The classified buildings should have evacuation diagrams to meet regulatory requirements

Carbon monoxide alarms 

  • Carbon monoxide alarms are not legally required in Australia, but recommended if you have fuel-burning appliances or fireplaces

Heat alarms

  • You will need to install heat alarms in any private garage attached to the dwelling (Class 1A: detached house, or town house), or that is not associated with the dwelling (Class 2 & 4)
  • Heat Alarms must be installed on or near the ceiling, be interconnected with all alarms, including smoke, and have a visible sign stating, “Heat Alarm installed and interconnected with smoke alarms”
  • All heat alarms must possess the same power options as the smoke alarms.
Smoke Alarm

Short-term rental fire safety checklist

Here is a simple safety checklist to help keep your short term rental fire safe:

  1. Display an easily visible Emergency Advice Sheet for your guests.
  2. Provide a written evacuation diagram in case of a fire.
  3. Install an appropriate number of Fire Extinguishers and regularly test them.
  4. Have a fire blanket installed in your kitchen and barbeque area.
  5. Ensure an adequate number of suitable smoke alarms are in place and tested regularly.
  6. Keep keys to all locked doors readily accessible for guests’ easy escape if needed.
  7. Avoid overloading power points and remember to switch off appliances when not in use.
  8. Install a heat alarm in your garage or shed, and take extra precautions with stored chemicals and fuels.
  9. Prior to guests’ arrival, ensure your gas, electric, or wood BBQ is in safe working condition.

What are the dwelling types of Short-term Rental Accommodation?

Here are the different STRA dwelling types in Australia:

  • Class 1a: single dwelling like a house or granny flat, detached/townhouse
  • Class 2: apartment buildings
  • Class 4: sole dwelling or residence within a building of non-residential nature (eg: apartment above a shop or restaurant). There can only be one Class 4 part in a building.

Watch this video about fire safety in your rental property which explains what fire equipment you need and how to check & maintain them (Source:

Other useful resources

FREE Short Term Rental Emergency Advice Sheet

In all short-term rentals, Emergency Advice Sheets need to be installed behind the main entry door. It is also recommended installing them in bedrooms.

They should include:

  • Location and contact details of the nearest hospital, fire station, and police station.
  • Contact numbers for Emergency Services.
  • Building management details (if applicable).
  • Site map directing them to the emergency assembly area or meeting place. You can use the evacuation diagram for this.

FREE Evacuation Diagram

Having short term rental evacuation diagrams in conjunction with working smoke alarms is a legal requirement in Australia and will greatly increase chances of getting out safely. Every second counts. Evacuation diagrams are required in each bedroom and behind the main entry door.

You can use a free tool like Google Drawing to draw your rental plan:

Disclaimer: Complimentary resources offered on this page have been acquired from the website and are intended solely for general informational purposes.

Where can I purchase all the items necessary to adhere to Australian fire safety regulations?

You can purchase smoke alarms and other fire safety equipment from various places in Australia, including:

  1. Hardware Stores: Visit popular hardware stores like Bunnings Warehouse or Mitre 10, which usually carry a wide range of smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.

  2. Electrical Supply Stores: Shops that specialize in electrical supplies often have smoke alarms available for purchase. 

  3. Online Retailers: You can find smoke alarms on various online platforms like Amazon or eBay. Be sure to check customer reviews and ratings before making a purchase.

  4. Specialty Safety Stores: Some stores focus on safety equipment and may carry smoke alarms as part of their inventory.

  5. Department Stores: Large department stores like Target, Kmart, or Big W sometimes carry home and fire  safety products. You can also find fire safety products in your nearest Officeworks

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance to ensure your smoke alarm functions correctly and provides adequate protection for your home.