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Lodge a fire safety statement

The owner(s) of a building having a fire safety schedule is required to provide fire safety statements to both their local Council and to the Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW)

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EP&A Reg.) the building owner(s) must provide the Council with:

  • an annual fire safety statement that deals with each essential fire safety measure in the building (clause 177); and
  • a supplementary fire safety statement for any critical fire safety measure in the building, and being issued at intervals of less than 12 months (clause 180).

An annual fire safety statement is a statement issued by or on behalf of the building owner(s) that:

    1. each essential fire safety measure has been assessed by a competent fire safety practitioner (CFSP) and found to be capable of performing:
      1. in the case of an essential fire safety measure applicable by virtue of a fire safety schedule, to a standard no less than that specified in the schedule, or
      2. in the case of an essential fire safety measure applicable otherwise than by virtue of a fire safety schedule, to a standard no less than that to which the measure was originally designed and implemented, and
    2. the building has been inspected by a CFSP and was found to be in a condition that did not disclose any grounds for a prosecution under Division 7 of Part 9 of the EP&A Reg. (i.e. fire safety offence relating to a fire exit).

A supplementary fire safety statement is a statement issued by or on behalf of the building owner(s) that each critical fire safety measure has been assessed by a CFSP and found to be capable of performing to a standard required by the fire safety schedule.

The fire safety statement, whether annual or supplementary, is to be issued using the standard form available on the NSW Planning, Industry and Environment website.

Additionally, as soon as possible after a fire safety statement is issued the building owner(s) must provide:

      • a copy of the fire safety statement and the building’s current fire safety schedule to the Fire Commissioner (i.e. FRNSW); and
      • a copy of the fire safety statement and the building’s current fire safety schedule and be prominently displayed in the building.

The building owner(s) or their agent must:

      • be engaged in the fire safety statement process, as they are ultimately responsible
      • select a CFSP to undertake assessment of each fire safety measure
      • provide opinion in writing that each person engaged is a CFSP
      • ensure fire safety measures are maintained in accordance with clause 182 of the EP&A Reg., and
      • declare that fire safety measures have been assessed by a CFSP and issue the fire safety statement accordingly.

In April 2020, a fire protection accreditation scheme (FPAS) is expected to be gazetted along with a register of individuals accredited as a CFSP being made publicly available. When this occurs, the building owner(s) will need to select from this register a CFSP holding the correct FPAS accreditation to assess fire safety measures for a fire safety statement.

Notes:

The local Council is the regulatory authority on this matter and may impose penalties if fire safety statements are not provided in a timely manner. The owner can obtain a copy of the current fire safety schedule from the local Council if required.

The person issuing the fire safety statement must not be a CFSP. The CFSP does not issue the fire safety statement thus cannot ‘withhold’ it from the building owner(s). Any CFSP acting unethically should be reported to the FPAS accreditation body (i.e. Fire Protection Association Australia).

The person engaged to perform maintenance does not have to be the CFSP undertaking the assessment of fire safety measures.

For information on using the standard template form please contact NSW Planning, Industry and Environment, Building Code Advisory Service on (02) 9274 6529 or your local council.

Process

The fire safety statement and schedule is to be lodged electronically by email to: afss@fire.nsw.gov.au

Costs

There is no charge applicable to lodge a fire safety statement.

Further information

NSW Planning, Industry and Environment website [external link]

Frequently asked questions [external link]

Building System Circular BS 17-002 [external link]

Guide for building owners - Selecting a competent fire safety practitioner [external link]