Across NSW, over 60,000 people live in Commonwealth Government-accredited residential aged care facilities.
A survey of Commonwealth accredited facilities in NSW, undertaken in early 2012, revealed that nearly 600 buildings containing 24,000 beds do not have sprinklers installed. This represents an estimated 55 per cent of existing residential aged care buildings.
On 16 August 2012, the NSW Government announced that it would become mandatory for all residential aged care facilities to have an automatic sprinkler system installed. A draft regulation and a State Environmental Planning Policy are currently being prepared and will be exhibited for public comment.
Providers would have three years to install an automatic sprinkler system from the date when the regulation commences, or four years in exceptional circumstances. It is intended that the regulation requiring sprinklers will come into effect in January 2013.
Meanwhile, the NSW Government is encouraging all facilities without a sprinkler system to install them as soon as possible to improve the safety of residents.
NSW Government Planning and Infrastructure