Fire Safety

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Fire safety measures are any equipment, installations, type of construction or fire safety strategy that is implemented in a building to ensure the safety of the occupants using the building in the event of fire or other emergency and may include measures such as:

  • Automatic fire suppression systems (e.g. sprinkler systems)
  • Fire hose reels
  • Fire hydrants
  • Automatic fire detection and alarm systems
  • Fire doors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Smoke exhaust systems
  • Exit signs
  • Emergency lighting

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 contains a list of statutory fire safety measures that may be installed in a building. There may be some other measures, equipment or forms of construction that are not listed, which can be included for the purposes of ensuring the safety of persons in a building in the event of fire.

Fire Safety News

fire safety cladding
 

Get ready for winter

To ensure you and your family stay safe this winter, Fire and Rescue have put together an easy checklist to help you get your home ready for winter.

Click here for the checklist and more fire safety tips

 

Combustible cladding
on buildings

Combustible external cladding can be a fire hazard. To find out more about:

  • whether you need to take further action as a building owner;
  • if you are required to register your building;
  • or to understand more about combustible cladding, the potential hazards and further investigation, please click here

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Fire Safety Certificate?

The Fire Safety Certificate is the first certificate that is submitted by the owner:

  • after the installation of essential fire safety measures and on completion of fire safety upgrading work, or
  • before occupation of a new or altered building, or
  • before occupation with a change of use

This certificate states that each of the specified essential fire safety measures listed in the fire safety schedule have been installed in the building or on the land and that those measures are capable of operating to the performance standard listed in the Fire Safety Schedule.

A blank Fire Safety Certificate is available to download.

What is a Fire Safety Statement?

A fire safety statement is a document issued by or on behalf of the owner(s) of an existing building.

The statement confirms that a competent fire safety practitioner has assessed, inspected and verified the performance of each fire safety measure that applies to the building.

There are two types of fire safety statements:

  • Annual fire safety statements

An annual fire safety statement must be issued each year and include all the essential fire safety measures that apply to a building. The statement also verifies that a competent fire safety practitioner has inspected and confirmed that the exit systems in the building are in compliance with the Regulation.

  • Supplementary fire safety statements

A supplementary fire safety statement is issued at more regular intervals (as specified in the fire safety schedule) for any critical fire safety measures that apply to a building. 

Building owners must submit a Fire Safety Statement to Council on an annual basis or a more frequent period if the measures are identified as a critical fire safety measure in the building's Fire Safety Schedule.

The Fire Safety Statement must include certification of all the fire safety measures in the building and premises as specified in the Fire Safety Schedule for the building.  The Fire Safety Statement must be submitted to the Council and Fire & Rescue NSW by the 'due-date' as specified by Council.  Failure to submit a fully complete Fire Safety Statement to Council and Fire & Rescue NSW is an offence, which may result in a penalty notice (fine) up to $4,000.

What is a Supplementary Fire Safety Statement?

These are also issued after the final fire safety certificate and relate to critical fire safety measures which are measures of such a nature, or is implemented in such an environment or in such circumstances, that need periodic assessment and certification at intervals of less than 12 months.

These measures are often developed as part of an Alternative Solution designed by a fire engineer, being a fire safety measure which is alternative to the standard fire safety requirements stipulated by the Building Code of Australia.

A good example of this would be the practice of an evacuation plan at 6 monthly intervals.

This type of measure will be identified separately on the fire safety schedule together with the time period in which the “supplementary fire safety statements” are to be submitted to Council.

A blank Annual/Supplementary Fire Safety Statement is available to download.

What if the Annual/Supplementary Fire Safety Statement is not submitted on time?

It is an offence to fail to provide the statement. Weekly penalty notices apply for this offence:

  • 1 week late $1000

  • 2 weeks late an additional $2000

  • 3 weeks late an additional $3000

  • 4 weeks late an additional $4000

Each of these is a separate offence.

‘Failure to maintain Essential Fire Safety Measures’ (which is a separate offence again) can also result in a fine. The penalty in this instance is $3000 and Council will impose this as necessary.

Failure to submit an annual fire safety statement could also lead to legal proceedings in the Land and Environment Court, where a maximum penalty for a breach is $110,000.

These substantial penalties reflect how important it is to provide an annual fire safety statement by the due date. We take it very seriously and we expect the building owner to do the same.

How do I know what needs to be installed in my building?

This information will be contained in a document called a fire safety schedule. The schedule will list all essential fire safety measures which exist and are proposed in a building and will state the performance standard to which each of those measures must be capable of performing to.

A fire safety schedule is issued with:

  • a construction certificate or complying development approval for new building work;
  • a development or complying development consent involving a change of use (For example, a building changed from a shop to an office); and
  • a fire safety order

In most cases you can obtain a copy of the latest fire safety schedule from Council.

What does the law require the owner to do?

To verify installation and performance of each fire safety measure the building owner must:

  • have a properly qualified person: - check each fire safety measure is installed, and - is capable performing to at least the standard required by the current fire safety schedule for the building
  • submit to Council and the Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW a Fire Safety Certificate or a Fire Safety Statement together with the current fire safety schedule. Please note that pages 3-5 of the Fire Safety Statement form include information to assist building owners complete the form.
  • display both the current certificate/statement along the fire safety schedule in a prominent location of the building (e.g. entry foyer)

It is important that fire safety measures installed in a building are maintained to at least the original design standard. Any less of a standard or failure to maintain the fire safety measures could have adverse effects on the building that could result in poor performance. This could mean damage to or loss of the building or injury or death to occupants.

For further information on the submission of a Fire Safety Certificate and a Fire Safety Statement, please click here

 

What is a Competent Fire Safety Practitioner (CFSP)?

The owner of the building is responsible for the selection and appointment of the competent fire safety practitioner/s to undertake the necessary inspections and assessments before an annual or supplementary Fire Safety Statement can be issued.

Please note that as of 1 July 2020, all Fire Safety Practitioner’s undertaking assessments of the performance capability of existing essential fire safety measures for the purposes of an annual or supplementary fire safety statement will need to be accredited under the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS). Those without an accreditation number will not be able to conduct annual fire safety assessments.

Section 6 of the Fire Safety Statement form must include the Accreditation No and signature of the competent fire safety practitioner. Council will not be accepting a statement without this being completed.

To determine whether your chosen CFSP is accredited for the assessment of the nominated fire safety measures in your building, please go to the FPAS Fire Assessment Accredited Practitioner Register - https://connect.fpaa.com.au/FireSafetyAssessor.  When checking this register, click the dropdown against the name of the nominated assessor to ensure their accreditation covers all the fire safety measures installed in the building, which are the measures listed on your fire safety schedule.

For more information on the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) please refer to http://www.fpaa.com.au/fpas.aspx

Further information

For more information regarding essential fire safety measures or to find out when your Fire Safety Statement is due, contact Council's Fire Safety Officer on (02) 4654 7777.

You can also visit the Fire & Rescue NSW website.