Fire safety certification

Fire safety is an integral part of the building and development process. Mandatory certificates and statements can be downloaded from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website..

Fire safety certificate

A Fire Safety Certificate is a certificate submitted by, or on behalf of, the building owner which certifies that the specified essential fire safety measures have been installed and perform in accordance with the relevant Building Code of Australia requirements and Australian Standards.

A Fire Safety Certificate is required to be submitted to the Council prior to the occupation of a new building, or part of a building, and upon completing works required under a Council fire safety order. The owner of a building must also submit a fire safety statement to the Council on an annual basis.

Fire safety statement

A Fire Safety Statement is similar to the Fire Safety Certificate.  It certifies that the essential fire safety measures have been tested, are currently operational and have been maintained in accordance with the relevant requirements and standards.  

A copy of the Fire Safety Certificate and Fire Safety Statement are required to be displayed within the building in a conspicuous position and a copy must be forwarded to the NSW Fire Brigade.

Essential fire safety measures

Essential fire safety measures are the systems required by the Building Code of Australia to be installed in boarding houses, hostels, bed and breakfasts, commercial, industrial and public buildings to ensure the safety of the occupants in the event of a fire or an emergency.

The legislation lists statutory fire safety measures as:

  • access panels, doors and hoppers to fire-resisting shafts
  • automatic fail-safe devices
  • automatic fire detection and alarm systems
  • automatic fire suppression systems
  • emergency lifts
  • emergency lighting
  • emergency warning and intercommunication systems
  • exit signs
  • fire control centres and rooms
  • fire dampers
  • fire doors
  • fire hose reel systems
  • fire hydrant systems
  • fire seals protecting openings in fire-resisting components of the building
  • fire shutters
  • fire windows
  • lightweight construction
  • mechanical air handling systems
  • perimeter vehicle access for emergency vehicles
  • portable fire extinguishers
  • safety curtains in proscenium openings
  • smoke alarms and heat alarms
  • smoke and heat vents
  • smoke dampers
  • smoke detectors and heat detectors
  • smoke doors
  • solid core doors
  • standby power systems
  • wall-wetting sprinkler and drenching systems
  • warning and operational signs

Legislation mandates that essential fire safety measures must be maintained.

There can be other essential fire safety measures listed for your building/premises depending on whether alternate solutions have been considered as part of the construction of the building or premise.

A fire safety schedule, interim/final fire safety certificate or annual fire safety statement issued for the building lists all the essential fire safety measures that are installed in the building and the performance standard to which each of those measures must be capable of operating.