As part of the construction of a building, a variety of Essential Fire Safety Measures are installed in order to comply with the Building Code of Australia. These may include a range of items such as fire extinguishers, fire hose reels, exit and emergency lighting, fire detection systems and fire sprinkler systems. The measures will be listed in the Fire Safety Schedule of the DA or Construction Certificate.
At the completion of building works, the building owner (or their agent) is required to submit a final Fire Safety Certificate to their local Council before an Occupation Certificate can be issued. This final fire safety certificate is a declaration that each of the specified essential fire safety measures listed in the Fire Safety Schedule have been installed and are capable of operating to their required performance standard.
In preparing this certificate, the building owner/owner’s agent obtains certification from the designers and installers of each safety measure that these standards have been met, for example, AS1670 for fire detection, AS2441 for hose reels, AS2118 for fire sprinklers.
Every twelve months after the building is completed the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2017 requires an Annual Fire Safety Statement be prepared and forwarded to Council, with a copy to the fire brigade and a further copy displayed in the building entry.
Under this new legislation, the Annual Fire Safety Statement must certify that a Competent Fire Safety Practitioner (or multiple practitioners if required) has inspected the building, assessed the fire safety measures, and found that each of the measures is capable of performing to the relevant standard.
The Annual Fire Safety Statement can only be signed by the building owner or owner’s agent and not by anyone else.
Although Councils may or may not send reminder notices regarding statement submission, the onus is on the building owner to ensure this annual statement is submitted by the due date every year.