Byron backpacker hostels get A+ for Schoolies Week

Published: 14th November 2011

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) inspectors have praised the efforts of proprietors in lifting the fire safety standards of Byron Bay backpacker accommodation for the start of Schoolies Week.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said fire safety inspectors and Byron Shire Council officers had recently inspected 63 residential holiday apartments, hostels and backpacker establishments in preparation for the influx of celebrating school leavers over coming weeks.

“These comprehensive inspections are routinely carried out across NSW, but also are specifically targeted in areas where large numbers of people are gathering to celebrate major events, such as Schoolies Week,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“Our fire officers found fire safety standards at Byron Bay backpacker hostels this year to be excellent and the best they have seen in the past four years.

“Only one backpacker hostel was issued with a compliance order and that was in relation to signage and fire door issues which have since been rectified.

“These outstanding results, where some of the worst offenders in fire safety have become the best performers, reinforce how regular inspections can result in higher standards and safer accommodation across the board for visitors.”

Commissioner Mullins said this year was the first time, at the request of the council, self-contained holiday apartments had been included in the fire safety inspection program.

“A couple of holiday apartments were found not to meet fire safety requirements in relation to smoke alarms and the council has issued compliance orders accordingly.”

FRNSW, NSW Police Force and council officers will conduct a second round of building safety inspections, this time targeting entertainment venues, over the weekend of November 19 to 20.

“FRNSW building compliance officers will check emergency evacuation plans and ensure that venues have properly functioning fire safety equipment and are only taking in the number of people allowed under development approvals,” Commissioner Mullins said.

It is a busy period for FRNSW inspectors who have already conducted detailed inspections for the Stereosonic Music Festival at Sydney Olympic Park and will conduct further inspections for the V8 Supercars race in December and the Country Music Festival in Tamworth in January.