Main Content Anchor

Fire safety statements

What is an Annual Fire Safety Statement?

An Annual Fire Safety Statement certifies that each Essential Fire Safety Measure installed on a premises has been assessed by a competent fire safety practitioner and was found to be capable of performing to the standard required by the most recent Fire Safety Schedule.

The owner is required to provide a statement to the Council and Fire & Rescue NSW every 12 months and to prominently display a copy in the building. The requirements are relevant to Class 1b to 9 classification of building structures. The requirements have applied to premises subject to an approval, fire safety order or development consent since 1988 (at the time under Ordinance 70 Part 59), and now required by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (Part 9).

 An Annual Fire Safety Statement certifies

  • Each fire safety measure installed within a property has been assessed by a competent fire safety practitioner and was found, when it was assessed,  to be capable of performing to a standard no less than that specified in the most recent Fire Safety Schedule and to a standard no less than the measure was originally designed and installed.
  • The building has been inspected by a competent fire safety practitioner and was found, when it was inspected, to be in a condition that did not disclose any grounds for a prosecution under Division 7.

Fees and Lodgement

Fees
Refer to Council's Fees and Charges for details on the costs for on-time and late submissions.

Form
Download the Annual Fire Safety Statement from the link in related information and submit to both addresses.
Assessors forms are acceptable as well provided the information detailed is the same.

Lodgement

1. Submit the statement and pay the fee at Council

and

2. Send a copy to Email: afss@fire.nsw.gov.au
Fire & Rescue NSW - Building Fire Safety Unit
Locked Bag 12
Greenacre  NSW  2190

What are Fire Safety Measures?

Fire Safety Measures are any item of equipment, form of construction or fire safety strategy required for a building and installed, or proposed to be installed, to protect life and ensure the safety of persons occupying the building in the event of a fire.  Some examples include:

  • Automatic fire detection and alarm systems
  • Automatic fire suppression systems (e.g. sprinkler systems)
  • Emergency lighting and exit signs
  • Fire hose reels, fire hydrants, and portable fire extinguishers
  • Fire doors and mechanical air handling systems
  • Lightweight fire resistant construction.

For more details including a list of all statutory fire safety measures refer to Clauses 165 & 166 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulation 2000

 

Maintenance Standards

The owner of a building is required to engage a competent fire safety practitioner to inspect and assess each fire safety measure in accordance with the Australian Standard. This maintenance standard may require inspection, test and maintenance regime on a greater than annual cycle.

For example, Portable Fire Extinguishers are required to be inspected at six (6) monthly intervals as specified in the Australia Standard AS 1851 Maintenance of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment.

While the owner can use this maintenance program to prepare an Annual Fire Safety Statement, it should be noted that the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian Standard (AS) for design/installation/performance (including relevant year) should be provided on the Annual Fire Safety Statement NOT the maintenance standard.

Legislation states that the assessment and inspection of an essential fire safety measure or building must be carried out within a period of three (3) months prior to the date on which the annual fire safety statement is issued.

What is a Fire Safety Schedule?

A fire safety schedule specifies the fire safety measures (both current and proposed) that should be implemented in the building.  The schedule must deal with the whole of the building and must specify the minimum standard of performance for each fire safety measure included in the schedule.  The list of fire safety measures and Building Code of Australia and Australian Standard of Performance references detailed on the Annual Fire Safety Statement constitutes a fire safety schedule. Refer cl. 168.

A fire Safety Schedule is issued:

  • By Council or an accredited certifier with a Construction Certificate or Complying Development Certificate for a new or altered building.
  • By Council with a Fire Safety Order under Order 6, Section 121 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. 
  • Should Council conduct an inspection and find that the premises does not have adequate provision to prevent or suppress fire, Council may issue an order detailing action required.
  • By Council in some cases with a Development Consent such as for a change of use in an existing building.

Owner Requirements

The NSW Government is implementing a package of reforms to strengthen NSW’s building regulation and certification system including Fire Safety Regulation Reform to improve fire safety for both new and existing buildings.

The fire safety reforms, introduced by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017 (the Amending Regulation), have been developed to strengthen fire safety certification for new and existing buildings.

Please see Related Information for link to the Fact Sheet for Building Owners.

New standard forms

The Amending Regulation requires a building owner to issue a fire safety certificate or fire safety statement in the form approved by the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment. These new forms are effective from 1 December 2017 and available from Related Information links:

  • Final Fire Safety Certificate form must be provided before occupation of a new or altered building
  • Annual Fire Safety Statement form must be provided within every twelve months following for existing buildings

Note: the Amending Regulation requires additional information to be recorded on the fire safety statement. These new requirements came into effect on 1 October 2017.  Further detail can be found on the Planning & Environment website link in Related Information.

Measures need repair?

In certain circumstances where an Annual Fire Safety Statement cannot be submitted by the due date resulting from additional or remedial  works being required and certification to the required Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian Standard of Performance cannot be provided, representation should be made to Council, prior to the due date. Initial contact may result in Council staying (holding off) issuing weekly penalty infringement notices.

In order for Council to consider whether to stay the penalty notices you must contact us on PH: 6581 8111 or email: Fire Safety Officer.

Council is unlikely to stay penalty infringement notices in the event of a history of late submission of Annual Fire Safety Statements for a premises.

Penalties

Failure to lodge an Annual Fire Safety Statement to Council within the time prescribed is an offence under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulation 2000.  Penalties include, but are not restricted to:-

$1,000 1 week overdue
$2,000 2 weeks overdue
$3,000 3 weeks overdue
$4,000 4+ weeks overdue
$580 Annual Fire Safety Statement not prominently displayed in the building    
$3,000       Owner fails to maintain essential fire safety measures (Individual)
$6,000 Owner fails to maintain essential fire safety measures (Corporation)
$1,500 Occupier fails to display fire safety notices prominently

These substantial penalties reflect how important it is to provide an annual fire safety statement by the due date.  Council will not exempt a correctly issued Penalty Infringement Notice.   Representation must be made by the owner through the State Debt Recovery Office.  Failure to submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement or take action in accordance with requirements of an Order No. 6 could also lead to legal proceedings in the Land and Environment Court.

Council sends a reminder letter to the property owner or the owners agent (if advised by the owner in writing).  Whilst Council makes every effort to issue this reminder in a timely manner, Council accepts no responsibility for any reliance upon our reminders and the legal responsibility for providing the statement when due, rests with the owner of the premises.

 

 

This page was last updated on: 12 April 2019