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Smoke Alarm and Battery Replacement for the Elderly (SABRE)

The Smoke Alarm and Battery Replacement for the Elderly Program (SABRE) is designed to increase safety awareness, education and confidence in regards to fire and other safety issues across NSW.


Fire & Rescue NSW’s (FRNSW) SABRE program has been developed to assist at risk communities who are vulnerable in the case of a fire because they are not able to install or maintain smoke alarms. The program aims to reduce the severity and frequency of fires amongst such groups.


The key objectives for the SABRE program can be summarised as follows.

  • To support seniors and people with disabilities to remain independent and at home.
  • Increase the awareness and adoption of preventative measures in vulnerable communities.
  • Ensure that socially isolated community members have the opportunity to benefit from the SABRE program through stakeholder participation.
  • Develop community networks which promote awareness and adoption of preventative measures in at risk communities.

Target groups

The SABRE program can be provided to residents who have limited domestic support, ie, no access to family, friends or neighbours who can assist, and are living in their own or a privately rented home in FRNSW fire district. Examples are:

  • frail aged people (aged over 65)
  • people with disabilities
  • people who are already receiving community assistance and services.

How can I access the program?

Many fire stations have established SABRE programs with agencies or community services in their area. These services have been alerted or advised of the SABRE program and have ‘self-assessed’ their client for referral to FRNSW. If you are service provider or community organisation interested in referring your clients to the SABRE program, please contact your nearest fire station or the FRNSW Community Safety Coordinator for Ageing and Disabilities at cedu@fire.nsw.gov.au.

Residents who are unable to change their smoke alarm batteries should contact their nearest fire station on an annual basis to get assistance at no cost. If your smoke alarm ‘chirps’ earlier, this indicates a low battery level.

Firefighters will visit the residence at an arranged time to install a battery operated smoke alarm or replace existing smoke alarm batteries at no installation cost. The resident must supply the battery-operated smoke alarm or batteries. Firefighters can provide smoke alarm advice whilst visiting premises.