Fire Safety Program
Last published 10 Nov 2017
Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) properties are well built and provide a high level of fire safety. Every DCJ home already has at least one hard-wired smoke alarm with battery back-up.
DCJ is carrying out the Fire Safety Program to ensure all DCJ properties continue to meet fire safety standards. There is no regulatory requirement for fire safety upgrading of existing housing.
This program simply reflects the NSW Government’s commitment to good practice and the people who live in public housing.
How will I be affected by the Fire Safety Program?
Initially, fire safety inspections will be carried out on walk-up units and other multi-unit properties. Inspectors will contact you about a time when your home can be assessed for fire safety. After an inspection, the inspector may decide that your home’s fire safety features do not require any repairs or the inspector may see a need for work to be done in your home. If work needs to be done, maintenance contractors will contact you after the inspector’s visit to arrange a time to carry out this work at a separate time.
Who will do the fire safety work?
Qualified contractors who are working for DCJ will carry out inspections and any maintenance work required.
Will the inspectors have identification?
All DCJ contracted inspectors will carry photo identification as proof of identity. You should always ask to see this identification before letting anyone into your home.
How will I be told about a fire safety inspection?
You will receive a letter from a DCJ contracted inspector to let you know they would like to access your property. The inspector will give you at least 7 days’ notice of the inspection and will then contact you by phone or in person about the date and time for the inspection. If the inspector sees a need for maintenance work to be done, a contractor will contact you to arrange an appointment.
What if my contact details have changed?
If your details have changed, you are required to notify your local DCJ office of any changes.
Why is my neighbour/friend getting fire safety work done and I am not?
The Fire Safety Program is initially focusing on walk-up units, and other multi-unit developments, including townhouses. The program will then be rolled out to other specialised group accommodation. Fire safety work will only be done in your home if the inspector sees a need for it.
What type of work will be done?
The types of work carried out may include installing smoke seals around entry doorways to your home, fitting of fire-rated doors and painting using fire-resistant paint. The inspector will let you know what type of work will need to be carried out.
How long will the work take?
The length of time required will depend on the type of work needed, but generally work will be completed within a week of starting. The maintenance contractor will be able to tell you how long the work will take to finish.
Do I have to allow the inspector and maintenance contractor into my home?
Yes. It is very important that you allow DCJ contracted inspectors into the property to carry out the inspections. They will contact you by letter with an appointment date and timeframe. The inspector will give you at least seven days’ notice of the inspection. As your landlord, DCJ must make sure that your home is safe and secure. Therefore, if you do not allow the inspector or maintenance contractor into your home, DCJ will have to take action at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to obtain an order to access your home.
What if I am unable to keep the scheduled time?
If you are unable to keep the scheduled appointment with the inspector or maintenance contractor, you should contact them. You can find the contact details for the inspector on the notification letter sent to you. You can also call us.
If I am unavailable during the week, can the inspector or maintenance contractor come on the weekend?
The maintenance contractor is able to do work on Saturday, but not on Sunday. If you are not available on weekdays, you should advise the maintenance contractor and make arrangements for inspections or work to be carried out on a Saturday.
Do I need to move out of my home while the work is completed for the Fire Safety Program?
It is not expected that any tenant will need to move from their home while work is completed.
What will happen to my furniture?
The maintenance contractor who is doing the work on your home will move furniture if that is necessary. If you have fragile or valuable items, you can help by moving these items away from the work area. The maintenance contractor will cover furniture to ensure it is protected. When the work is finished, the maintenance contractor will put furniture back in its original position.
What happens if the maintenance contractor damages my belongings?
The maintenance contractor is responsible for any damage caused during work.
Someone serviced my smoke alarm recently. Do I need another inspection?
Yes. The Fire Safety Program is to assess fire safety for the entire building and involves more than checking smoke alarms. The hard-wired smoke detector alarms installed in every DCJ property are separately inspected and tested annually.
Do I need to sign anything?
No. Tenants are not required to sign any documentation.
Will this affect the painting I have done in my home?
If the maintenance contractor needs to paint any surfaces in your home to improve fire safety, the colour of the special paint will be a standard off-white colour in a slightly textured paint finish. This paint needs to be inspected during your regular property inspection. You must not paint over it because it is special fire resistant paint.