What are essential fire safety measures?
Essential fire safety measures include items such as hose reels, hydrants, exit and emergency signs and lights, portable fire extinguishers, fire and smoke alarms and the like.
If they are required in a building, council will provide the building owner with a fire safety schedule listing the required items and relevant maintenance standards.
How do I know what needs to be installed in my building?
Generally, the Building Code of Australia specifies in what parts and/or types of buildings the essential fire safety measures are required.
Council can require that the measures be installed in existing buildings under a fire safety order, in a new building or addition, or if an application is made to change the use of an existing building.
A fire safety certificate is required if any of these measures were installed or applied to a building from 1 July 1988.
If certification for these measures is required, council will advise this in the form of a fire safety order or approval (i.e. Development Consent or Construction Certificate) and include detailed information such as the installation and maintenance standards which apply.
What is a fire safety certificate?
A fire safety certificate indicates that fire safety measures have been installed and perform in accordance with the relevant Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards.
A certificate must be lodged with council immediately upon completion of the fire safety upgrading, development or building work, and before the new use is commenced and/or the building is occupied.
What is a fire safety statement?
A fire safety statement states that each essential fire safety measure has been assessed by a properly qualified person and was found, when assessed, to be capable of performing: to a standard no less than that specified in a schedule; or, where not mentioned in a schedule, to a standard no less than that to which the measure was originally designed and implemented.
When is a fire safety statement due?
An annual fire safety statement must be submitted to Gosford City Council every twelve (12) months after the fire safety certificate was issued.
An annual fire safety statement must certify that a properly qualified person has inspected the building, assessed the fire safety measures, and found that the measures are capable of performing to the relevant standard.
It is the responsibility of the building owner to ensure council receives the fire safety statement prior to the due date.
Council charges a fee for processing this statement and an invoice will be forwarded in accordance with council’s Fees and Charges.
Who can assess the standard of performance?
The building owner must have the inspection performed by a person who is suitably qualified to assess the particular essential fire safety measure. This could be a licensed tradesperson or a specialised fire protection service company.
Who completes the certificates and statements?
Fire safety certificates and statements can only be signed by the owner or owner's agent and not the person performing the inspection.
Who is responsible for certification?
Building owners must ensure that fire safety certificates and statements are lodged with council. There are substantial penalties for failing to submit any statement or certificate by the due date.
The annual fire safety statement must be displayed in a prominent location in the building and a copy forwarded to NSW Fire and Rescue (Locked Bag 12, Greenacre NSW 2190).
Failure to comply with these requirements is an offence. Council may issue a penalty infringement notice if the essential fire safety measures are not fully maintained or if the annual fire safety statement requirements are not complied with.
Council may also serve a fire safety notice and order requiring compliance with fire safety requirements.