Essential fire safety measures

Essential fire safety measures
Read about what parts and types of buildings require essential fire safety measures. Essential Fire Safety Measures canterbury bankstown Generally, the Building Code of Australia specifies in what parts or types of buildings the essential fire safety measures are required.  

Fire fights hosing down flames 

What is an essential fire safety measure?

Essential fire safety measures are installed within a building or premises to perform a vital function in protecting life and preventing injury in the event of fire. They are prescribed by the Clause 166 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000 and are listed below:

  • Access panels, doors and hoppers to fire-resisting shafts
  • Automatic fail-safe devices
  • Automatic fire detection and alarm systems
  • Automatic fire suppression systems
  • Emergency lifts
  • Emergency lighting
  • Emergency warning and intercommunication systems
  • Exit signs
  • Fire control centres and rooms
  • Fire dampers
  • Fire doors
  • Fire hydrant systems
  • Fire seals protecting openings in fire-resisting components of the building
  • Fire shutters
  • Fire windows
  • Hose reel systems
  • Lightweight construction
  • Mechanical air handling systems
  • Perimeter vehicle access for emergency vehicles
  • Portable fire extinguishers
  • Safety curtains in proscenium openings
  • Smoke alarms and heat alarms
  • Smoke and heat vents
  • Smoke dampers
  • Smoke detectors and heat detectors
  • Smoke doors
  • Solid core doors
  • Standby power systems
  • Wall-wetting sprinkler and drencher systems
  • Warning and operational signs

Who has to provide information on Essential Fire Safety Measures?

Under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (Clause 175 to 177), the owner of any building which is subject to essential fire safety requirements, must submit an annual Fire Safety Statement to the Council, the NSW Fire Brigades, and have it prominently displayed in the building.

All Class 1B & 2 to Class 9 buildings, which were subject to a building approval or fire safety notice or order by the Council, after 1 July 1988, are automatically subject to the essential fire safety measures requirements. These include, residential flat buildings; townhouse developments; duplex style dual occupancies; commercial buildings; office buildings; hotels and licensed premises; shops and restaurants; public assembly buildings; health care buildings; aged care buildings; places of shared accommodation; and places of public entertainment.

Why have Essential Fire Safety Measures

Building owners and managing agents need to be aware of these important fire safety requirements. Failure to comply with these requirements is an offence and will render the owner liable to substantial penalties. More importantly, a failure to meet these requirements can significantly affect the levels of fire safety afforded to the occupants of the building, which may threaten their life safety, as well as having significant liability implications for the building owner.

What do you have to do to comply with the legislation?

  1. The Fire Safety Schedule that is issued with a Construction Certificate, Complying Development Certificate or Fire Safety Order must be prominently displayed in the building.
  2. The owner is to issue a Final Fire Safety Certificate that certifies that each essential fire safety measure listed on the Fire Safety Schedule has been inspected, tested and verified that the measures are capable of performing to the standard specified on the Fire Safety Schedule by a Competent Fire Safety Practitioner, prior to the occupation of the building. This certificate must be forwarded to the Council, NSW Fire Brigade, and prominently displayed in the building.
  3. An Annual Fire Safety Statement is to be issued by the owner to the effect that each fire safety measure specified in the Fire Safety Schedule has been assessed by a Competent Fire Safety Practitioner engaged by the owner and was found to be capable of performing to the relevant minimum performance standard listed. Documentary evidence must be supplied of the owner's consent, if an agent provides this information.

The Annual Fire Safety Statement is also to certify that the building has been inspected by a properly qualified person and found to be in a condition that did not disclose any grounds for a prosecution under Division 7 of Part 9 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulations 2000 in relation to fire exits (i.e. signage/useability/doors/paths of travel). This Statement must be forwarded to Council, NSW Fire Brigade, and be prominently displayed in the building. If a Fire Safety Statement has not been submitted to Council on an annual basis from the date of the initial

Fire Safety Certificate and/or has not been submitted to Council within the past twelve (12) months, it is overdue and must be obtained and submitted to Council as soon as possible.

Note: Council may charge a reminder/registration fee for sending out. Any fee will be in Council's fees and charges policy. Currently Council Annual Fire Safety Statement Fees and charge is $104 including GST.

What is a competent fire safety practitioner

A competent fire safety practitioner is a person who is competent to perform fire safety assessment functions required by the regulations. Further choice of CFSP can be retrieve from Fire Protection Association of Australia, telephone 1300 731 922 or website http://www.fpaa.com.au/provider.

More information about accreditation of competent fire safety practitioners can be found on the Fire safety practitioners | Fair Trading NSW Fair trading website.

The guide selecting a competent Fire safety practitioner – A guide for building owners who must issue annual fire safety statements is located on the Building Regulation and Certification Reform  page of the department of Planning and Environment website.

How Should I lodge Annual Fire Safety statement?

The steps are described below-

  1. Download Annual Fire Safety statement form, here.
  2. Fill Up all the relevant section in the form
  3. Be aware Section 5 & 6 Must be filled up by the CFSP/ Fire Safety Consultant
  4. Lodge the form with the Council Fee through Email : Council@cbcity.nsw.gov.au
    Alternatively send by post to the following address: PO BOX 8, NSW 1885
  5. Send the form electronically to Fire+Rescue NSW through email: afss@fire.nsw.gov.au

What penalty provisions apply?

Failure to comply with these requirements is an offence and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 provides for fixed penalties and Council may issue a penalty infringement notice ('on the spot fine') for breaches including the following:

  • Owner fails to display final fire safety Schedule and statement
$580
  • Owner fails to give annual fire safety statement within 1 week
$1000
  • Owner fails to give annual fire safety statement within 2 weeks
$2000
  • Owner fails to give annual fire safety statement within 3 weeks
$3000
  • Owner fails to give annual fire safety statement within 4 weeks or more
$4000
  • Owner fails to maintain essential fire safety measures - Corporation
$6000
  • Owner fails to maintain essential fire safety measures - Individual
$3000

What should you do now?

It is important that you are aware of the date on which the Fire Safety Statement must be submitted to the Council, to make the necessary arrangements for the fire safety measures to be inspected and certified prior to the 'due date'. You must arrange for the essential fire safety services to be inspected and to obtain a fire safety statement by employing the services of a professional building regulation and fire safety consultant. In this regard, it is important that your consultant is suitably qualified and fully aware of the relevant legislative and Building Code of Australia requirements.

In the case of residential flat buildings or other strata buildings, the Owners Corporation is advised to make prior arrangements for their building and fire safety consultant to inspect the premises and to provide the required certification by the due date annually. This will also require the Owners Corporation to make the necessary arrangements to provide funding for these annual inspections and certifications services. If different consultants or contractors are engaged to provide these services, it will be necessary for the owner or authorised agent to collate the documentation and to provide a single fire safety statement to the Council, which encompasses all of the fire safety measures. The owner and the agent should keep the supporting documentation for their records. Documentary evidence must be supplied of the owner's consent, if an agent provides this information.

What Should I do if I require more time to lodge Annual Fire Safety Statement?

Immediately Send email to Council and describe the detail reason of the time extension and confirm minimum time including the date to lodge the Annual Fire safety Statement. Please be inform the Time extension is not guaranteed to be accepted by the Council. Council will assess each scenario and confirm you the outcome. In addition please provide contact details of the applicant, supporting documents, applicants phone number, email address etc. Council Email Address:    council@cbcity.nsw.gov.au.

Need further information?

In order to facilitate these important fire safety requirements you are advised that Council's Fire Safety Officers, are available to assist you by telephoning 0297075599. Alternatively, please contact your own building and fire safety consultant. These consultants can be sourced from the Directory or from the Fire Protection Association of Australia, telephone 1300 731 922 or website www.fpaa.com.au/provider. Legislation can be viewed on website www.legislation.nsw.gov.au.