Annual Fire Safety Statement Every year the owner of a building or premises that has fire systems installed must provide the local council and Fire and Rescue NSW (the NSW Fire Brigade Head Office) with a statement certifying that all fire-safety measures work properly. This statement must be assessed by qualified personnel and be displayed prominently within the building (usually on the notice board)
Council charges an administration fee for the handling and management of submitted annual fire safety statements.
Essential fire safety measures These measures include installations, equipment or forms of construction that will protect occupants of a building in the event of fire or other emergencies. They normally include:
automatic fire detection and alarm systemsautomatic fire suppression systems, such as sprinkler systemsemergency lighting and exit signsfire hose reels, fire hydrants and portable fire extinguisherslightweight fire-resistant construction materials.
Fire safety schedules
Fire safety schedules list the measures required to be installed and the standard they need to achieve. A fire safety schedule can be issued:
by Council or an accredited certifierby Council with a fire safety orderby Council in some cases with a development consent, such as for a change of use in an existing building
A fire safety schedule is only applicable if any of the above occurred after 1988. You can obtain a copy of the latest fire safety schedule from Council.
Fire safety certificate
For new or altered buildings, the first certificate, called a fire safety certificate, must be furnished for each new or altered essential fire safety measure.
At least once within every 12 months after the fire safety certificate is completed, an annual fire safety statement must be supplied to council, certifying a qualified person has inspected the building and found fire-safety measures meet relevant standards. What this means is that each Strata Scheme is required to appoint a fire expert to assess and test the fire items within a building.
A hotly debated item relating to fire testing is that there is not a qualification for persons who perform this assessment. This is why it is important to work with your Strata Manager at The Strata Collective to make sure an experienced tradesperson is engaged, with strong expertise in fire safety.
For existing buildings, every year, within 12 months of the date of the previous annual fire safety statement, the owner of a building must submit an annual fire safety statement to council certifying that each of the fire measures listed in the most recent fire safety schedule installed on the premises remain capable of operating to the standards listed in the schedule.
It is an offence to fail to provide the statement. Substantial and continuing weekly penalty notices apply for this offence. Failure to submit an annual fire safety statement could also lead to legal proceedings in the Land and Environment Court, where the maximum penalty for a breach is $110,000.
There are some grounds to appeal these fines and modify due dates however most councils are very strict with Strata Schemes.
This is a highly specialised area of Strata Management maintenance and the fire safety industry is notorious for overcharging clients that do not test prices on repairs. The Strata Collective will always arrange for two or more quotations for repairs that total more than $2,000 to ensure that our Strata Schemes receive good value for money.