Fire safety in buildings is a primary role of Council’s Land Use team. Council has a legal obligation to monitor occupant safety and maintenance of fire services in buildings across the shire.
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) details the requirements for the type and location of fire safety measures for new buildings based on their size, use and proximity to other buildings.
Services such as smoke & heat detectors, portable fire extinguishers, fire hose reels, fire hydrants, exit signs, emergency lighting, fire doors and others are all vital components to protect the occupants of a building in the event of a fire and enable firefighters to carry out their role effectively, safely and quickly.
Upon issue of an approval for new works, Council will attach a Fire Safety Schedule to the Development Consent/Construction Certificate. This Schedule lists all existing and proposed required fire safety measures and specifies the minimum standard of performance for each measure. Single dwellings and minor outbuildings are exempt from this requirement.
Prior to occupying new building work
Prior to occupying the building, the owner must issue a Fire Safety Certificate - Form 15 to the effect that each newly installed essential fire safety measure specified in the Fire Safety Schedule has been tested by a properly qualified person and was found to be capable of performing to the standard required by the Fire Safety Schedule.
These essential services must therefore be maintained by the building owner to ensure they operate when required in the event of an emergency. Lives have been lost because required fire exits were locked or blocked, portable fire extinguishers empty, fire hoses missing and fire alarms inoperable. To ensure that fire safety measures operate if and when required, they must be serviced regularly in accordance with relevant Australian Standards.
Each year, the owner of the building must complete an Annual Fire Safety Statement - Form 15A to the effect that each essential fire safety measure specified in the Fire Safety Schedule has been assessed by a properly qualified person and was found to be still capable of performing to the standard required by the Fire Safety Schedule.
A copy of the Certificate must be sent to Council and the NSW Fire Brigade, and prominently displayed in the building. These annual forms may be sent to the following address:
NSW Fire Brigade Structural Fire Safety Unit
Locked Bag 12
GREENACRE NSW 2190
For more information on monitoring of essential fire services see the NSW Fire Brigades website: NSW Fire Brigades
Smoke Alarm Certificate – Domestic
At the completion of domestic residential development the installation of smoke alarms shall be certified by the licensed installer as compliant with the Australian Standard and the relevant provisions of the Building Code of Australia.
Council has prepared a standard installation Smoke Alarm Certificate which may be used for this purpose.