ANNUAL FIRE SAFETY STATEMENTS
In New South Wales, building owners are now required by law to complete an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) and provide it to their local council.
The requirement to complete an Annual Fire Safety Statement in NSW are part of fire safety reforms introduced to the state in 2017, through the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, which aims to strengthen the fire safety certification for both existing and new buildings.
This ensures that all buildings within the state have adequate fire protection systems and that these systems meet the Australian Standards; with stringent checks in place to ensure that buildings are compliant with fire safety requirements throughout the design, approval, construction and maintenance phases.
What does an Annual Fire Safety Statement in NSW involve?
An AFSS is a comprehensive record that documents the fire safety measures and fire protection systems you have in place within your building.
The layout, size and occupancy of every building is different, so an AFSS is a way for local councils to receive important, comprehensive information on the type fire protection systems used in the building and an assesses on whether these fire safety measures are up to standard.
Each year, building owners will receive a notice from their local council, advising them on when their Annual Fire Safety Statement is due.
If the due date for your AFSS is looming or you want to know more about what it covers, read on below.
Alarms and Emergency Exits
In the event of a fire or other emergency, getting occupants out quickly and safety is key. Your Annual Fire Safety Statement will check key components, such as:
- Alarm systems
- Emergency Warning & Intercommunication Systems (EWIS)
- Emergency exits, such as fire doors
- Fire seals, smoke doors, smoke & heat vents
Fire Safety Equipment
Fire safety equipment is an asset you can’t go without; it helps building occupants to fight fires and gives occupants a better chance to escape a building if a fire did breakout.
Some key fire safety equipment that is checked during your Annual Fire Safety Statement in NSW includes:
- Fire sprinkler system and fire dampers
- Automatic fire detection equipment
- Fire extinguishers, fire blankets and fire hose reels,
- Smoke detectors & thermal heat detectors
- Mechanical air handling systems
- Window fire drenchers
Lighting and Signage
The environment within a building can change within the blink of an eye, so adequate lighting and signage can assist building occupants in finding the closest exit. Some of the signage and lighting your business will be assessed on includes:
- Emergency lighting
- Paths of travel to exits
- Emergency evacuation diagrams & procedure plans
- Testing & tagging
- Warning & operational signage.
Who is a “Competent Fire Safety Practitioner”?
Not just any one can complete your Annual Fire Safety Statement in NSW. Since the reforms were introduced, only people who are accredited as ‘competent fire safety practitioners” can complete the statement.
This independent accreditation is provided by the Fire Protection Association of Australia, with the aim to increase the calibre and standards of practitioners undertaking such important work.
As of 1 July 2020, any practitioner looking to undertake ‘regulated work’ under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 must be accredited by the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS)
At East Coast Fire & Safety, our technicians are accredited under FPAS, which enables our team to conduct every service, installation, maintenance or testing job to the highest standard.
The accreditation also ensures that our technicians are qualified and experienced to undertake your Annual Fire Safety Statement in NSW.
Contact East Coast Fire & Safety to Complete Your Annual Fire Safety Statement in NSW
It’s a requirement to engage the specialty skills of a competent fire safety practitioner to undertake your fire safety assessments and inspections, so why not choose a local business with extensive experience and the right qualifications?
East Coast Fire & Safety is Australian owned and operated, with clients across a number of industries, including commercial, high rise, government, industrial and retail.
For more information on the reforms and common questions we receive about Annual Fire Safety Statements, you can check out our blog here.
Contact East Coast Fire & Safety today to complete your Annual Fire Safety Statement in NSW.