Winter chills in strata bring increased fire risks

7 May 2024

By Adrian Mueller

A timely reminder as the nights and days start to get cooler, winter will soon be here and as owners and tenants use heaters and other electrical items to warm apartments it increases the risk of fires in strata buildings as they choose to stay indoors and out of the cold.

What are the most common causes of fire?

According to Fire and Rescue NSW the most common causes of fires, especially in winter, are:

  • Faulty electric and gas heaters
  • Items placed too close to heaters
  • Children knocking over heaters
  • Portable outdoor heaters
  • Overloaded power boards
  • Kitchen cooktops and appliances
  • Wheat bags kept in bed
  • Electric blankets
  • Smoking and candles
  • Electric bikes and scooters
  • Buildings at risk with flammable cladding

Is your building fire-safe?

Now is the ideal time to ensure you are familiar and up to date with the fire safety requirements for your strata building and to ensure:

  • Your building has had its annual fire safety inspection by an accredited Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA) inspector, and everything is in working order and in line with the NSW fire safety laws; and
  • Your annual fire safety statement, which is mandatory for most buildings, is lodged with the local council and Fire and Rescue NSW.

How do you help ensure your building is fire safe?

A ‘Fire Safety by-law’ can help ensure all tenants and lot owners are fully aware of the fire safety requirements they must obey and to not do anything that creates a fire safety risk.

This type of by-law can also make tenants and owners liable for false fire alarm call out fees or for any damage they cause to the building.

A ‘Fire Safety by-law’ can greatly enhance the fire safety of your building, reducing your fire risk.

Are your strata buildings fire safe - be prepared for the winter months? Ensure your Building is Fire Safe.

Read the requirements for Building Fire Safety Regulation by downloading the Requirements for Building Fire Safety Regulation Fact Sheet, published in Winter 2023.


We would like to thank JS Mueller & Co Lawyers for providing this article.

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