A fire safety measure is any aspect of construction, piece of equipment or can be evacuation plans that are required to ensure the safety of people within the building in the event of fire or other emergency. These measures include things like fire-rated construction, smoke detection and alarm systems, portable fire extinguishers, fire hose reels, hydrants, exit signs or evacuation plans. Fire safety requirements vary from building to building.
The Fire Safety Measures and their required level of performance applicable to the building are itemised on the Fire Safety Schedule which is attached to the reminder letter sent by Council to owners of buildings prior to the Fire Safety Statement being due.
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A Fire Safety Certificate (not to be confused with an Annual Fire Safety Statement) contains details of an assessment of the fire safety measures in a commercial/ industrial building. It is required to be lodged with the certifying authority and the Commissioner, Fire and Rescue NSW by the owner of the building or the owner's agent:
Each year, the owner of a building to which an essential fire safety measure is applicable must submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement to Council for the building. Annual Fire Safety Statements are issued by or on behalf of the owner of the building. They declare that all fire safety measures on the premises have been maintained to the appropriate standards and that exit paths allow for the safe passage through the premises in the event of fire. A copy must also be given to Commissioner, Fire & Rescue NSW.
The owner must ensure that a competent fire safety practitioner inspects each fire safety measure. The choice of person to carry out an assessment or inspection is up to the owner. The person who carries out an assessment must inspect and verify the performance of each fire safety measure being assessed. Note: All paperwork provided by your properly qualified person is for the owner only and must not be lodged with Council. It is important that records of inspections are kept by the owner.
Complete all sections on the Fire Safety Statement Form and provide dates where required to do so. Check the form again for accuracy and completeness and lodge it at the council. A Fire Safety Statement for a building must deal with each essential fire safety measure in the building premises. It must be submitted within 12 months after the date on which the previous statement or the final fire certificate was given, and it must be lodged within three months of the date of inspection and assessment. The statement must be submitted to Council and Commissioner, Fire and Rescue NSW, as previously indicated.
The NSW Government and Council treats fire safety issues seriously.
Where required under legislation to provide a statement, the owner is responsible to ensure lodgement, regardless of whether the property is tenanted or vacant.
As an owner, please consider:
Please see Council Fact Sheet in regards to changes to the Legislative requirements which came into force 1 October 2017. A Guide for Building Owners and Building Fire Safety Regulation Fact Sheet are also available from the State Government website.
Legislation requires all NSW residents must have at least one working smoke alarm installed on each level of their home. This includes owner occupied, rental properties, relocatable homes or any other residential building where people sleep.Smoke alarms are already mandatory for all new buildings and in some instances when buildings are being renovated.Smoke alarms are life-saving devices that provide benefits for occupants. They detect smoke well before any sleeping occupant would and provide critical seconds to implement actions to save life and property. Smoke alarms are designed to detect fire smoke and emit a loud and distinctive sound to alert occupants of potential danger.
You must install smoke alarms which comply with Australian Standard 3786 (AS3786). The standard should be clearly marked on the packaging.If you previously installed smoke alarms prior to 1 May 2006 that do not comply with AS3786 they will be deemed to comply (providing that they are working and in the correct location).
The type of smoke alarm you require is dependent on the type of premises you live in or own.There are a number of different types of smoke alarms available: ionisation, photoelectric, carbon monoxide, alarms for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, alarms with emergency lights and special models for kitchens and relocatable homes. All of these smoke alarms differ in how they detect smoke and/or alert people.Smoke alarms can also have varying power sources. They can either be hard-wired or battery-operated.Find out more about smoke alarm power sources from Fire and Rescue NSW.
Most battery-powered smoke alarms can be easily installed by the home owner or a maintenance contractor and do not require professional installation. Hard-wired smoke alarms, however, will need to be installed by a licensed professional. Always install a smoke alarm in accordance with their instructions. They are usually most effective when located on the ceiling, preferably away from walls and fitings. The best locations are in hallways leading from bedrooms and in sleeping areas. Since smoke alarms respond to airborne particles other than smoke, it is better not to install them in kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and garages. If possible, avoid areas with strong drafts. Note: If a garage etc is a separate level a smoke alarm must be installed.