Fire safety issues resolved at Carrington boarding house

09 May 2019

City of Newcastle has removed the emergency order on a boarding house in Bourke Street Carrington, allowing it to re-open seven months after regulatory action was taken to protect residents from serious fire safety breaches.

The regulatory action undertaken by the City has significantly improved the fire safety of the Carrington boarding house, City Director of Governance David Clarke said.

“The Emergency Development Control Order was issued in 2018 because of significant risks to lives in the event of a fire at the Carrington premises due to serious fire safety compliance issues and unauthorised works," he said.

"These risks were deemed to be so significant that the emergency order required removal of all persons from the premises and substantial remedial work to make the premises compliant.”

At the time of issuing the emergency orders, the premises had a total of 36 bedrooms, of which a large number were unauthorised and non-compliant with fire safety measures.

These unauthorised bedrooms have been removed, with 16 bedrooms now able to be occupied, all of which comply with fire safety requirements.

To achieve a safe, compliant boarding house, a large number of unauthorised structures have also been removed and substantial additional fire safety measures implemented.

Self-closing fire doors with smoke seals have been installed, along with smoke detectors, an upgraded fire detection & alarm system and building occupant warning system.

A fire-isolated internal stairwell that had been compromised through unauthorised works, has also been re-instated.

Following a final inspection of the Carrington premises undertaken today to ensure these improvements comply with fire safety requirements, the City has been able to remove the emergency order.

Mr Clarke said City of Newcastle intends to issue additional orders to enable the owner to install a fire sprinkler system in the boarding house which will further improve the safety of residents at the Carrington boarding house.

In December last year, City of Newcastle allowed a Mayfield boarding house to be re-opened after the same owner complied with similar regulatory action taken as part of the boarding house compliance program.

“It has only been through our regulatory action that the owner has complied to ensure the safety of residents at both premises,” Mr Clarke said.

“While we understand the inconvenience for the men who live at the boarding houses, turning a blind eye to the serious fire safety deficiencies was never an option we could responsibly take.”