Annual Fire Safety Statement Sydney
Our fire safety consultation services
Key Compliance provides professional building inspection and audit services with respect to fire safety matters, in particular:
- Essential services/safety measure inspections
- Auditing of maintenance records and procedures
- Fire door/smoke door inspections
- Fire seals and fire protective linings inspections
- Fire safety audits and evaluations
- Fire safety upgrade requirements
- Assist with resolution of Council issued Fire Safety Orders
- Provide Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) once compliance is achieved
These tasks can also cover management of consultants and contractors involved with any required upgrade works, as well as liaising with the owners, Strata Managers, local Council and any other relevant authority. Firstly, your requirements in any of the above fields are discussed, to confirm what you require from our service. This may range from several issues to a few: from pressing short term problems to longer term solutions. Your requirements are assessed for timelines, costs, extent of involvement and the desired outcomes that you need to achieve by engaging Key Compliance.
Where Key Compliance can work
Key Compliance will cover the following geographical areas:
- Sydney Metropolitan area;
- Central Coast;
- Other areas will be subject to review and negotiation.
A proposal is then prepared for you that clearly identifies:
- Scope of services offered;
- Exclusions and assumptions;
- Outcomes required;
- Methodology to achieve outcomes;
- Timeline for achieving milestones;
Once engaged, Key Compliance prepares a program with the key milestones identified to enable all parties to be informed and be able to track progress. Also any liaison and reporting to the local Authority is provided.
What are the fire safety regulations?
Fire safety requirements are covered by the following regulations:
- Building Code of Australia (BCA)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPAA)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation (EPAR -2000 and 2006);
- National Construction Code (NCC)/Building Code of Australia (BCA)
- Australian Standards (various)
The EPAA and EPAR are linked to govern the building standards and approvals process through NSW. These regulations refer to the BCA for levels of compliance, and in turn the BCA nominates Australian Standards as common standards to be achieved in buildings. These documents as a whole act together to prescribe the quality of building standards to be achieved, with fire safety ranking as the highest component of building works.
An Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS)
An Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) NSW. Buildings of all types are required under the EPAR to have an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) displayed prominently in the building, and to also be issued to the local Council and NSW Fire Brigade each year. Some Councils will issue reminder notices to owners stipulating when the AFSS is to be provided, however not all Councils do this and it is the responsibility of the owner/s to prepare and submit the annual fire safety certificate to both Council and the NSW Fire Brigade by the due date. Also some Councils charge an administration fee with submission of the AFSS.
What should be done?
Building owners and/or their authorized representatives should ensure that a "properly qualified" person is engaged to complete an assessment of each essential fire safety measure. This may be in the form of an annual fire services inspection and report.
Who is a properly qualified person?
There are no legislated minimum requirements for a "qualified" person. However the responsibility is placed on the Building owners and representatives to select the appropriate person.
An appropriate person is one who:
- Has knowledge and experience in the operation and function of the building's installed fire safety measures;
- Adequate audit skills and experiences;
- Knowledge and experience in applicable building regulations and standards;
- Relevant qualifications and experience in fire safety matters.
Step 1: Conduct an audit
To address key requirements of the regulations, essential services or "fire safety measures" within the building must be identified, assessed and reviewed in relation to the relevant "performance standard". This assists in determining the state in which the essential services are in, any maintenance deficiencies and nonconformance aspects of the service. Whilst the list of fire safety measures is quite extensive (there are a total of 29 measures specified in the EPAR), the common fire safety measures include:
- Fire detectors and alarm systems;
- Emergency lighting and Exit signs;
- Fire sprinkler system;
- Fire hydrants/fire hose reels;
- Fire extinguishers;
- Fire doors
Step 2: Provision of the annual fire safety statement (AFSS)
Once the compliance status audit report has been completed, the following must be initiated:
- Action taken to address any identified defects;
- Compile the annual fire safety statement;
- The building owner or Representative is to sign the AFSS within three (3) months of the assessment;
- A copy of the statement must be forwarded to the relevant Council, NSW Fire Brigades, and also a copy be prominently displayed in the subject building.
This certification (AFSS) is an annual requirement. All essential services reports, records of maintenance checks, and repair works should be kept on site for inspection and for audit purposes.
Step 3: Maintenance of essential services
As part of an integrated building management and maintenance program, essential services and the life safety systems within a building should be inspected, tested and maintained on an ongoing basis in accordance with the requirements of the BCA and associated Australian Standards.
Non-compliance to the statutory requirements may place at risk the health and safety of occupants in the event of an emergency, fire or evacuation, as well as occupants of adjoining buildings. This may also result in financial penalties of thousands of dollars for breaching the regulations, and:
- Risk of voiding insurance cover;
- Legal liability/action/costs;
- OH&S requirements;
- Damage to reputation