When a fire sensor is activated a fire alarm is triggered and Fire and Rescue NSW will attend the owners corporation’s building.

On each occasion Fire and Rescue NSW attends the owners corporation’s building to respond to a fire alarm that is afterwards discovered to be a false fire alarm, Fire and Rescue NSW normally charges the owners corporation a false fire alarm fee. As at 2016, the false fire alarm fee is $1,250.

Many owners corporations and their executive committees are not aware that the owners corporation has the power to make a by-law under section 47 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 which:

1. Imposes an obligation on the owners and occupiers of the lots in the building not to inappropriately activate a fire sensor or trigger a false fire alarm.

2. Imposes an obligation on the owners of the lots to take reasonable steps to ensure that the occupiers of their lots do not inappropriately activate the fire sensors or trigger false fire alarms in the lots.

3. Permits the owners corporation to recover from any owner or occupier of a lot who breaches the by-law any loss it suffers because of that breach including the Fire and Rescue NSW false fire alarm fee.

If you have any queries or require assistance implementing a false fire alarm by-law for your strata scheme, please feel free to contact Michael Pobi at michael.pobi@pobilawyers.com or on (02) 8710 3430 to discuss your needs.

Please note that the information contained in this article is not legal advice and should not be relied upon. You should obtain legal advice before you take any action or otherwise rely upon the contents of this article.