FIREFIGHTERS have warned smoke alarms must now be installed in caravans in NSW.
Albury Central fire station commander Simon Huggett said it was now compulsory to install smoke alarms in caravans and other mobile dwellings where people sleep.
“There are limited escape options from fires in caravans, so the warning a smoke alarm gives can mean the difference between life and death,” he said.
“You have just a few seconds to get out of a burning caravan, because they are made of lightweight and highly combustible fittings and fires can take off frightenly fast.”
Mr Huggett said the changes, which came into effect on Friday, applied to all new and existing caravans, campervans and annexes, regardless of whether or not they are registered for road use.
“If you are an owner of such a vehicle, you’re the one responsible for installing and maintaining a smoke alarm,” he said.
“Dwellings not regularly moved, but still used for accommodation, such as caravans in backyards, are also covered by this change.
“Smoke alarms cost as little as $15 but will save something more precious than money — human life.”
A six-month grace period will apply before penalties, including on-the-spot fines of $200 or a maximum penalty of $550 if the matter goes to court, take effect.
Tents are excluded.
Country Fire Authority safety officer Mark Williams said regulations already in place in Victoria meant it was compulsory to install a smoke alarm in any new caravan or mobile dwelling.