Essential Fire Safety Measures

Protecting life and preventing injury in buildings in the event of fire is vital.

 

New Buildings - class 2 to 9 developments

Fire Safety Certificate (interim or final) (152KB)

Issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, Part 9 - Fire Safety and Matters Concerning the Building Code of Australia, Division 4 - Fire Safety Certificates.

The owner of a building, or the owner's agent, along with an application for an Occupation Certificate, needs to provide to the certifying authority (a Council or a Private Certifier) a fire safety certificate.

A copy of this certificate also needs to be given to the Fire Commissioner and displayed in the building in a prominent position.

 

Existing Buildings - class 2 to 9 developments

Annual Fire Safety Statement (193KB) (AFSS)

Fire Safety Schedule (365KB) - example only

Issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, Part 9 - Fire Safety and Matters Concerning the Building Code of Australia, Division 5 - Fire Safety Statements.

The owner of a building, or the owner's agent, needs to provide to the Council a completed fire safety statement, inclusive of the fire safety schedule each year where an essential fire safety measure applies.

A copy of this statement also needs to be given to the Fire Commissioner and displayed in the building in a prominent position.  

 

Note 

It is a statutory obligation upon the owner of a building to cause the Council to be given a AFSS for the building within 12 months after the date on which the previous AFSS was given. Council may issue you with a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) if you do not submit the AFSS by the due date. See below.

 

Guidelines to a Building Owner's Responsibilities

What are Essential Fire Safety Measures?

An Essential Fire Safety Measure is an item that protects life, prevents injury and damage to a building in the event of a fire.

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, a number of items are classified as Essential Fire Safety Measures, such as: smoke detectors, sprinklers, emergency lights, exit signs, fire hose reels, fire doors, etc.

 

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

This depends on the Building Code of Australia classification of the building. The certifying authority (a Council or a Private Certifier) will attach a schedule to your consent detailing the measures required. You may also be required to install additional safety measures, such as the installation of bollards on the pavement outside your building to prevent exits being obstructed by parked vehicles, or regular fire evacuation procedures to be carried out, as they relate to childcare centres, nursing homes, and high-rise office buildings.

 

What is an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS)?

An AFSS is a statement issued by or on behalf of the owner of a building that:

  • Each Essential Fire Safety Measure specified has been assessed by a properly qualified person and performs to the original standard; and
  • the building has been inspected by a properly qualified person and all Fire Safety Notices (applicable to fire isolated stairway, passage or ramp) are displayed, all fire exits, doors relating to fire exits, and paths of travel to fire exits, are not obstructed or impeded.

 

Issue of Annual Fire Safety Statements (AFSS)

  • The required assessment and inspection must have been carried out within the period of 3 months prior to the date on which the AFSS is issued (signed).
  • The choice of person to carry out an assessment or inspection is up to the owner of the building.
  • The person who carries out an Assessment must inspect and verify the performance of each Essential Fire Safety Measure being assessed.
  • Each year, the owner of a building is to ensure that the Council is given an AFSS within 12 months after the date on which the previous AFSS was given, (anniversary) or if a Fire Safety Certificate (New Building) has been issued within the previous 12 months, within 12 months after the Fire Safety Certificate was issued (signed).
  • As soon as practicable after an AFSS is issued, the owner of the building must give a copy to the Fire Commissioner and prominently display it in the building, e.g. noticeboard in foyer or adjacent to the fire indicator panel.
  • Procedures should be put in place by the owner of the building well before the due date of the statement in order to arrange the necessary inspections and repairs (if required) to enable the statement being submitted to Council by the due date.

 

Do I need to submit to Council a Certificate for each Essential Fire Safety Measure?

NO - however, it is advisable that the owner retains proof of every inspection or test of each fire safety measure.

The owner of a building, or the owner's agent, needs to provide to the Council a completed fire safety statement, inclusive of the fire safety schedule each year where an essential fire safety measure applies. A copy of the statement also needs to be given to the Fire Commissioner and displayed in the building in a prominent position.

 

What will happen if the building owner does not submit an AFSS by the due date?

The outcomes vary from fines to prosecution. Furthermore, Council can issue Penalty Infringement Notices (PIN) for numerous fire safety offences, to owners/Corporations, and the amounts vary, a few examples are:

  • 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

 

Buildings - class 1a developments

Typically, Class 1a means - single dwelling houses, terraces or villa houses.

There is no requirement to submit an AFSS for single dwelling houses classified 1a under the Building Code of Australia. 

Ask one of Council’s Building Surveyors if you are not sure whether this classification applies to you.

 

Further Information

State legislation, faq, forms etc: https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/Buildings/Safety-reforms/Fire-safety

For any further information on Fire Safety Measures, please contact our Building Surveyors or Fire Safety Officer on 9936 8100 between 9.30am and 11am, Monday to Friday.