Safety in Maitland

Young girl holding hands on a path

Home safety

Get Ready for an emergency

Being prepared can help you and your loved ones make better decisions during a disaster. It can save you money and heartbreak, and could even save your life.

There are five (5) simple steps you can take to get ready now:

  1. Know your risk
    Think about the area you live in and the types of disasters that could affect you.
  2. Plan for what you'll do
    Sit down and talk with your family and plan for what you will do if a disaster affects your area.
  3. Get your home ready
    Prepare your home by doing general home maintenance and checking your insurance.
  4. Be aware
    Find out how to prepare and what to do if there is a disaster in your area. Connect with NSW Emergency Services to stay informed.
  5. Look out for each other
    Share information with your family, friends, neighbours, and those needing assistance.

Find more information on how to manage emergencies on Get Ready NSW.

Fire safety

Smoke alarms

All residential dwellings such as townhouses, units, apartments, flats, places of shared accommodation, moveable dwellings, holiday vans or park van annexes must have smoke alarms installed in appropriate locations.

All smoke alarms can either be:

  • Battery operated smoke alarm with a hush button, or
  • Hardwired 240 Volts smoke alarm with battery backup.

A licensed electrician must install hardwired smoke alarms, which can also be interlinked together, so that they sound together.

Dwellings, alterations, and additions built since 1993 must have hardwired smoke alarms to comply with the Building Code of Australia.

Open burning 

Recreational fires

You can have open fires for recreational purposes, such as cooking, camping, picnicing or similar outdoor activities, however there are some restrictions:

  • You must only use dry, seasoned wood
  • You must only use liquid petroleum gas (LPG), natural gas or proprietary barbecue fuel.

You should contact the Lower Hunter Rural Fire Service at least 24 hours prior to lighting any open fire, on 02 4015 0000. If you’re planning to burn on a weekend, make sure to call between 9.00am and 4:30pm on the Friday prior.

You should also check current NSW Fire restrictions, such as total fire bans.

Burning off vegetation or garbage

You cannot burn vegetation or anything in the open, or in an incinerator, unless that incinerator is operated in accordance with the NSW EPA Clean Air Regulation requirements.

You can only burn dead and dry vegetation on your land if:

  • The vegetation your burning grew there
  • The land is more than 4,000 square metres, and
  • Your land is zoned as RU1 Primary Production, RU2 Rural Landscape or R5 Large Lot Residential.

You cannot burn:

  • Tyres
  • Coated wire
  • Paint containers and residues
  • Solvent containers and residues
  • Timber treated with copper chromium arsenate (CCA) or pentachlorophenol (PCP).
View the Control of Burning Policy


Reducing woodsmoke

Wood heaters are often used to heat our homes, however, they can produce excessive smoke if not operated correctly, which is a major contributor to air pollution.

To reduce your wood smoke pollution, you should:

  • Never dampen down your fire overnight
  • Use only small logs of seasoned, untreated wood, rather than a large log
  • Store wood under cover in a dry, ventilated area
  • Increase the air supply if you see your chimney smoking
  • Maintain a bright flame and do not let your heater smoulder
  • Never burn rubbish, driftwood, treated or painted wood
  • Check your chimney regularly.

Fire safety for building and development

All building owners are responsible for protecting their building and occupants in the event of a fire through maintenance and certification of fire safety measures put in place by the NSW Government.

Fire safety certification and statements

Building owners must submit a fire safety certificate confirming that a qualified person has installed and checked all required fire safety measures applying to the building. They must also submit a fire safety statement confirming that a qualified person has assessed, inspected and verified the performance of each fire safety measure in the building. 

Complete the form via the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and return the form to us by email to

The building owner must also make sure a copy is clearly displayed within the building.

View the Department of Planning and Environment’s Fire Safety Certificate

Community safety

Alcohol Free Zones

Alcohol free zones in the Maitland local government area are situated in the following areas:

  • Rutherford Shopping Precinct
  • Central Maitland
  • Greenhills Shopping Centre

Please note: Alcohol free zones expire in February 2027.

Alcohol prohibited areas

Alcohol prohibited areas in the Maitland local government area are situated in the following areas:

  • Harold Gregson Reserve - Maitland
  • Ernie Jurd Memorial Oval - Largs
  • Metford Recreational Reserve - Metford
  • Rutherford Youth Space - Rutherford
  • Thornton Park - Thornton
  • Fred Harvey Oval – Woodberry
  • Maitland Skateboard Centre - Maitland

Any person observed to be drinking in an Alcohol Prohibited Area or Alcohol Free Zone may have the alcohol in their possession immediately seized and tipped out or otherwise disposed of and for non-cooperation with a police request a maximum penalty of $2,200 applies.

Emergencies and disasters

Arrangements for, prevention of, preparation for, response to and recovery from emergencies with the Maitland Local Government Area are covered by the Maitland Local Emergency Management Plan.

View the Emergency Management Plan

Emergency Dashboard

In the event of a local emergency or weather event, information can be found on our Emergency Dashboard. Latest updates are available via the NSW SES, Hunter SES, Maitland SES Unit and Port Stephens Hunter Police District. Visit Hazard Watch for all current warnings. 

See Also
Road closures and works