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.
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:
- Coated wire
- Paint containers and residues
- Solvent containers and residues
- Timber treated with copper chromium arsenate (CCA) or pentachlorophenol (PCP).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The building owner must also make sure a copy is clearly displayed within the building.
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.