(This article was updated on 5 January 2020)
In 2017, the NSW government introduced a series of building regulatory reforms to address the need for stricter guidelines when it comes to fire safety. These reforms affect the Annual Fire Safety Statement NSW process.
As usual, building owners must submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement to their local council and Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) each year. The purpose of the statement is to outline that all fire safety measures in your building comply with the relevant standard. This requirement is outlined in Part 9 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation (EP&A Regs) 2000.
Also, from 1 February 2020, a new standard form will apply to all fire safety statements. One of the key difference is that a ‘competent fire safety practitioner’ (CFSP) must undertake all assessments and inspections of essential and critical fire safety measures.
Building owners or managers need to ensure that the requirements are met as set out following the regulation amendments. That’s why we’ve prepared a quick guide that highlights sections of your fire safety statement and how to correctly complete these.
Completing your Fire Safety Statement
The new Fire Safety Statement form now requires the details of each CFSP who inspected the building. There are also sections that require the building owner to complete the document. This means that maintenance contractors can no longer sign off on behalf of the building owner.
Fire Safety Statement – page 1
In Sections 1 to 4, the building owner or agent must complete the relevant information.
Section 1: Type of statement
Tick the appropriate box type of FSS that is being issued (annual or supplementary).
An annual fire safety statement (AFSS) lists all essential fire safety measures of the building inspected by a competent fire safety practitioner (CFSP).
A supplementary fire safety statement relates to the building’s specific critical fire safety measures which is not currently included in the annual fire safety statement and needs to be endorsed by a CFSP.
Section 2 : Description of the building or part of the building
In this section you must enter the complete address information of the building including optional details such as lot number, DP/SP and building name. A FSS whether annual or supplementary can apply to the whole building or just part of it. Tick the appropriate box.
Section 3 : Name and address of the owner(s) of the building or part of the building
Complete name and address information of the owner (whole building or part). This could include individuals, a company, or an owner’s corporation.
Section 4 : Fire safety measures
The purpose of this section is to identify all of the fire safety measures that apply to a building or part of a building.
Fire safety measures include items such as portable fire extinguishers, fire hydrants, fire sprinklers, fire detection and alarm systems.
Essential fire safety measures are those fire safety measures which are assessed on an annual basis, while critical fire safety measures are those which are required to be assessed at more regular intervals (as detailed on the fire safety schedule).
For annual fire safety statements, the table in section 4 must list each of the essential fire safety measures and the relevant standard of performance. The date(s) on which these measures were assessed and inspected must be within three months prior to the date the annual fire safety statement is issued.
For supplementary fire safety statements, the table in section 4 must list each of the relevant critical fire safety measures and the relevant standard of performance. The date(s) on which these measures were assessed and inspected must be within one month prior to the date the supplementary fire safety statement is issued.
The accreditation number, or name (if the CFSP is not required to be accredited), of the CFSP who assessed a fire safety measure listed in section 4 must be written against the relevant measure(s) under the ‘CFSP’ column.
Section 5 : Inspection of fire exits and paths of travel to fire exits (Part 9 Division 7)
This section only applies to annual fire safety statements.
The purpose of this section is to identify that a CFSP has inspected the fire exits, fire safety notices, doors relating to fire exits and paths of travel to fire exits and found no breach of Division 7 of Part 9 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
The table in section 5 must detail the parts of the building that were inspected. The date(s) of the inspection(s) must be within three months prior to the date the fire safety statement is issued.
The accreditation number, or name (if the CFSP is not required to be accredited), of the CFSP who assessed a fire safety measure listed in section 5 must be written against the relevant measure(s) under the ‘CFSP’ column.
Fire Safety Statement – page 2
In section 6 of the form, the CFSP who undertook the assessment must supply the relevant information.
Section 6: Name and contact details of competent fire safety practitioners (CFSPs)
Each CFSP listed in the tables on section 4 and 5 must also sign the fire safety statement. Alternatively, a CFSP could provide the building owner or agent with a separate signed document to endorse the relevant part of the fire safety statement.
The accreditation scheme for CFSPs is expected to start in January 2020. Until then, if a practitioner is of a class of persons that is not required to be accredited under clause 167A of the Regulation, there is no requirement to include an accreditation number on the form.
Completing these sections is the most time consuming part of the process. That’s why Global Fire uses a fast and secure system that allow CFSPs to affix their signature on the go, drastically reducing the time of completion for these sections. A copy is automatically sent to you as soon as the document is signed off.
Section 7: Name and contact details of the person issuing the statement
Enter the name and contact details of the person who is issuing the statement — that is, the person who completes or signs section 8 or 9 of the form.
Section 8: Annual fire safety statement declaration
The person issuing the statement must sign and date this section for an annual fire safety statement.
Section 9: Supplementary fire safety statement declaration
The person issuing the statement must sign and date this section for a supplementary fire safety statement.
It is important to note that the Regulation requires no changes to be made to the standard form published on the Department of Planning and Environment’s website. Therefore, you must not add or edit any sections in the standard form to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
The main objective of the reforms is to strengthen NSW’s building regulation and certification system. Stay on top of your obligations and work closely with your CFSP and you won’t get left second-guessing the state of your fire safety systems.
Do you need a fire safety provider who understands how to comply with the NSW building regulatory reforms? Contact Global Fire. Our team includes qualified CFSPs who are always up-to-date on current and upcoming changes to regulations that affect our clients. Call us on 1300 88 70 18 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.