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Fire Safety

What is an Annual Fire Safety Statement?

Each year, the owner of a building to which an essential fire safety measure is applicable must submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement for the building to Council.

Annual Fire Safety Statements are issued by or on behalf of the owner of the building. They declare that all fire safety measures on the premises have been maintained to the appropriate standards and that paths of travel to and within the required exits are kept clear of any obstructions to allow a safe exit from the premises in the event of a fire or other emergency.

What is a fire safety measure?

A fire safety measure is any aspect of construction, piece of equipment or evacuation plans that are required to ensure the safety of people within the building in the event of fire or other emergency.

These measures include fire rated construction, smoke detection and alarm systems, portable fire extinguishers, fire hose reels, fire hydrants, emergency lighting, exit signs, paths of travel to and within the required exit or evacuation plans. Fire safety requirements will vary from building to building.

Who should inspect my premises?

The owner must ensure that a properly qualified person inspects each fire safety measure. The choice of person to carry out an assessment or inspection is up to the owner. The person who carries out an assessment must inspect and verify the performance of each fire safety measure being assessed.

Note: All paperwork provided by your service provider is for the owner only and is NOT to be lodged with Council. It is important that records of inspections are kept by the owner.

How do I lodge my Annual Statement?

Complete all sections on the Annual Fire Safety Statement form available from Council's Administration Centre at 2 Bryant Street, Rockdale and lodge it with the administration fee.

An Annual Fire Safety Statement for a building must deal with each essential fire safety measure in the building. It must be submitted within 12 months after the date on which the previous statement or the Final Fire Certificate was given when the building was built, and it must be lodged within 3 months of the date of inspection and assessment.

The statement must be submitted to Council and the Commissioner of Fire & Rescue NSW.

What will happen if I do not submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement?

The owner is responsible to ensure lodgement, regardless as to whether the property is tenanted or vacant.  Please consider the following:

  • On-the-spot fines can be imposed on the owner for 'Failure to provide an Annual/Supplementary Fire Safety Statement' and range from $500 to $2,000
  • If a fine is issued, it will not excuse you from the need to submit a Fire Safety Statement and Council may proceed with legal action against you
  • 'Failure to maintain essential Fire Safety Measures' (which is a separate offence) can also result in a fine. The penalty in this instance is $1,500

For other information on fire safety, including smoke alarms, home evacuation plans, winter fire safety at home and fact sheets, please also refer to the Fire & Rescue NSW website, and for more information on legislation refer to the NSW Planning & Environment website.

Fire Safety Information on Upgrading Your Building

Residential Dwellings

In accordance with the Building Legislation Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Act 2005, it is compulsory for smoke alarms to be fitted in all existing dwellings including home units and other buildings where people sleep such as houses, motels, boarding houses and caretaker flats. It is a requirement to install smoke alarms in all newly constructed buildings of this nature under provisions of the Building Code of Australia.

Council recommends that hard-wired (240 volt) smoke alarms with battery backup, be fitted to the ceiling adjacent to the doorways of bedrooms in all residential dwellings and on each other floor level of a dwelling that does not contain a bedroom, although a battery-operated alarm installed as per the standard will comply with Smoke Alarms Act for buildings approved prior to 1997.

Multi Unit and Non Residential Buildings

Under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, owners of buildings including commercial or industrial premises, residential flat buildings etc. have a legal obligation to ensure that all fire safety measures within their buildings are maintained to an acceptable standard.

These requirements are in place to reduce the spread of a fire, to facilitate the orderly and safe evacuation of the building in the case of an emergency, to facilitate the fighting of a fire to protect property and to protect the lives of the occupants and fire fighters.

It is the responsibility of the building owner to ensure that:

  • All fire safety measures are inspected by a properly qualified person or persons, to ensure the measures are being maintained to the appropriate standard of performance
  • Fire Safety Statements are displayed in a clearly visible position within the building so that Council or Fire & Rescue NSW officers can sight them when inspecting the premises
  • All exit doors are kept in good working condition, and corridors or other paths of travel to and within the required exit are kept clear of any obstructions

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