Laws Relating to Fire Safety in Australia: What are the Implications of Non-Compliance?

07 March 2019

In 2017, the government of New South Wales and other areas of Australia approved the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017, which introduced reforms to previous fire safety rules. The amended regulations became effective on October 1, 2017, and implemented specific legal requirements that building owners and managers must comply with in order to ensure the safety of tenants and workers who inhabited their buildings.

The Amended Regulation’s ‘Relevant Fire Safety System’

The 2017 Amended Regulation calls for new building plans and construction to include a ‘Relevant Fire Safety System’ to include such features as the following components of a hydraulic fire safety system:

• A Fire Hydrant System
• A Fire Hose Reel System
• A Sprinkler System (to include a wall-wetting sprinkler or drenching setup)
• An Additional Automatic Fire Suppression Backup System

In addition, new building designs are required to include a fire detection and alarm system plus a mechanical smoke control system with duct installation. In larger multi-unit residential, commercial and industrial buildings or educational institutions, fire doors may be required. Building owners must display Fire Safety Certificates (FSC), and in some instances, interim and final Annual Fire Safety Statements (AFSS).

Fire Safety Regulations for Owners and Operators of Budget Accommodation Buildings

Budget accommodation buildings are buildings that have shared bathroom and sanitary facilities (other than laundries) and that have accommodations for six or more people and are classified as hotels, boarding houses, hostels and some types of medical facilities. Owners and operators of these buildings are required to implement and maintain a basic Fire Safety Master Plan that includes the presence of working early warning systems, such as hard-wired smoke alarms and emergency lighting systems. Penalty fines for non-compliance with these regulations are equal to amounts of $12,000 and above.

As a building owner or property manager in Australia today, contact the experienced consultants at Key Compliance located in Kogarah, NSW to obtain expert advice and information concerning building fire safety regulations. These excellent independent fire safety and compliance consultants will address all your questions and concerns about your property’s current fire safety protective measures and advise you of all new and existing laws and regulations that require your attention and compliance.

They can give you expert advice relative to updating your current fire safety equipment and methods to ensure that your building complies with today’s legal requirements. These experts will also inform you of any new regulations that you may not be aware of concerning providing adequate fire safety for your property.