The Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) has developed a Good Practice Guide on annual fire safety statements (GPG-04) to provide guidance to the fire protection industry, building owners and building occupiers in relation to the objective of Annual Fire Safety Statements and the requirements and responsibilities for preparing these documents in New South Wales. To obtain a copy of this Good Practice Guide email your request to email@example.com
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an annual fire safety statement?
An Annual Fire Safety Statement is a document issued by or on behalf of the owner of a building to the effect that each Essential Fire Safety Measure installed in the building or on the land has been assessed by a properly qualified person and was found to be capable of performing to the standard required by the most recent Fire Safety Schedule for the premises.
When is an assessment or inspection of the fire safety measures required for a property?
The assessment and inspection of an Essential Fire Safety Measure or building must have been carried out within the period of 3 months prior to the date on which the Annual Fire Safety Statement is due.
A copy of the Annual Fire Safety Statement and current Fire Safety Schedule must be forwarded to:
firstname.lastname@example.org ; and
the Fire Commissioner NSW Fire and Rescue email@example.com
It is therefore important to be aware of the due date for submission of the statement to Council. Procedures should be put in place to have the required assessment and inspection, and any required repairs, carried out within this three month period.
What is a fire safety measure?
A Fire Safety Measure is any measure (including any item of equipment, form of construction or fire safety strategy) that is, or is proposed to be, implemented in a building to ensure the safety of persons using the building in the event of emergency. These measures will vary from building to building and may include exit signs, portable fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, fire hydrants, evacuation plans etc.
More details including a list of all statutory fire safety measures are in Clauses 165 and 166 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulation 2000.
Who is responsible for maintaining fire safety measures?
Under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (the EP&A Regulation) it is the building owner’s responsibility to maintain each Essential Fire Safety Measure installed in the premises. The Fire Safety Measures are to be maintained whether the building is occupied or vacant.
What is a fire safety schedule?
A Fire Safety Schedule is the list of all Fire Safety Measures that are required to be installed in a premises and the standard of performance to which each measure must be capable of operating (both existing and proposed).
A Fire Safety Schedule can be issued when:
- granting a development consent for a change of building use in which no building work is proposed for the consent and no building work is required by the consent authority; or
- issuing a complying development certificate for the erection of a building or for a change of building use; or
- issue a construction certificate for proposed building work; or
- giving a fire safety order in relation to building premises after an audit is conducted.
Who is responsible for providing an annual fire safety statement?
Under the provisions of the EP&A Regulation it is the building owner’s responsibility to ensure that the Annual Fire Safety Statement is submitted to Council; that a copy of the statement is given to the Fire Commissioner and that another copy is prominently displayed in the building. An owner can grant authority to an agent to submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement on their behalf but Council require a written form of this consent for each applicable property.
Who can submit an annual fire safety statement for Strata Title Properties?
The Owners Corporation is responsible for submitting one annual fire safety statement to cover the entire building including each individual unit as well as common property such as hallways, carparks etc. The Executive Committee of the Owners Corporation may appoint the property strata manager to prepare and submit the annual fire safety on their behalf. Council require a written form of consent from the Owners Corporation advising they give authority for the strata manager to submit on their behalf.
Should a separate annual fire safety statement be submitted for each building on the property?
Yes. If there are multiple buildings on the one property, a separate annual fire safety statement is required for each building. One statement can be submitted for all the buildings ONLY if the required fire safety measures are the same for each building (as listed on the Fire Safety Schedule).
What will happen if an annual fire safety statement is not submitted by the due date?
Failure to give Council an Annual Fire Safety Statement by the due date constitutes a separate offence for each week beyond that date for which the failure continues. The serious nature of non-compliance with fire safety requirements is reflected by the substantial penalties provided for in the EP&A Act.
Proceedings for such an offence may be taken before a Local Court where a maximum fine of $110,000 may be imposed, or Council may issue Penalty Notices which range from $1000 for the first week of the offence up to $4000 per week for the fourth and subsequent weeks of the offence.
An incomplete statement may still attract at least a $580 Penalty Notice and failure to maintain an Essential Fire Safety Measure may attract an additional $3000 Penalty Notice.
What do I do with my completed annual fire safety statement and fire safety schedule once it has been submitted to Council and the NSW Fire and Rescue?
A copy of the following documents must be prominently displayed within the relevant building:
- Current Fire Safety Schedule
- Current Annual Fire Safety Statement
Penalties are applicable for not displaying these documents as per the EPA Regulations NSW.
If you need further information about this matter, please contact Building Surveyor – Fire Safety on 4429 3111 between the hours of 9.00 – 10.30am Monday to Friday. Please quote Council's reference FSS number.
The above is a guide only to some relevant requirements of: