Essential fire safety services are active measures to afford protection of a building and the safe evacuation of persons in the event of a fire emergency.
Annual Fire Safety Statement
Every year the owner of a building or premises (generally commercial, industrial or public buildings that are class 2 – 9 Building Code of Australia) must provide Council and Fire and Rescue NSW with a statement certifying that all essential fire-safety measures are properly maintained and functional. When completed, the statement must be displayed in a prominent position in the building.
As of 1 October 2017, building owners will need to select a competent fire safety practitioner to undertake the necessary assessments and inspections before an annual statement or supplementary fire statement is issued.
For further information about who is a competent fire safety practitioner, please visit the NSW Planning and Environment website.
The assessment and inspection of the essential fire safety measures must have been carried out within the three month period prior to the date of the annual fire safety statement.
Once a competent fire safety practitioner has assessed each measure and the owner has signed and completed the statement, lodge the statement with Council by email, post or in person and send a copy to The Commissioner, Fire and Rescue NSW. Please note there is an administration fee payable to Council for lodging this statement. For further details concerning Fire and Rescue NSW procedures, visit fire.nsw.gov.au
Fire safety certificate
For new or altered buildings, upon the completion of work and prior to occupation, a fire safety certificate must be provided to Council and a copy sent to the Commissioner, Fire and Rescue NSW. The fire safety certificate verifies the installation of each new or altered essential fire safety measure.
Within 12 months after the date of the fire safety certificate, an annual fire safety statement must be provided to the Council. This process is ongoing and each year an annual certificate must be submitted within 12 months of the last statement.
To obtain a fire certificate form please see the NSW Planning and Environment website.
Fire safety schedules
Fire safety schedules list the measures required to be installed and the standard they need to achieve. A fire safety schedule is normally issued:
- by Council or an accredited certifier in accompaniment of a construction certificate
- by Council in accompaniment of a fire safety order
- by Council in some cases with a development consent (where there is a change of building use).
Essential Fire Safety Measures
Essential fire safety measures include installations, equipment or forms of construction that will protect occupants of a building in the event of emergencies. They include but are not limited to the following examples:
- automatic fire detection and alarm systems
- automatic fire suppression systems, such as sprinkler systems
- emergency lighting and exit signs
- fire hose reels, fire hydrants and portable fire extinguishers
- fire doors and mechanical air-handling systems
- lightweight fire-resistant construction materials
Offences and Penalties
- $500 up to one week overdue
- $1000 up to two weeks overdue
- $1500 up to three weeks overdue
- $2000 up to four weeks overdue
Although not required by law, a renewal/ reminder letter is sent to all premises listed on Council’s register.
In circumstances where an annual fire safety statement cannot be submitted because repairs are required, postponement of weekly penalty infringement notices may be considered. This will be considered on case by case basis. If you require additional time please contact customer service on (02) 9847 6014
Lightweight cladding in its predominant form of aluminium sandwich panels can permit the spread of fire rapidly along the external façade of a building posing a risk to public health and safety. Multi storey buildings are particularly at risk from the rapid spread of fire where lightweight cladding has been fixed and connects consecutive storeys.
An inter-agency NSW taskforce was established in June 2017 to remedy the widespread use of combustible cladding in multistorey buildings. More information may be found on the Finance Services & Innovation website: www.finance.nsw.gov.au and the Department of Planning website: www.planning.nsw.gov.au