In 2017, the NSW Government introduced reforms through the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (the Regulation) to strengthen fire safety certification for new and existing buildings.
These reforms aim to improve the rigour and checking in the design, approval, construction and maintenance phases of the building life cycle.
Further information about these reforms, including details about the new and amended requirements, can be found in Building System Circular BS 17-002 (197 KB, PDF).
A fire safety certificate is a document issued by or on behalf of the building owner(s) upon the completion of new building work.
The certificate confirms that each of the fire safety measures that apply to a building (as listed in the fire safety schedule) have been installed and checked by a properly qualified person. This process helps verify that the required fire safety measures can perform to the minimum standard.
A fire safety certificate must be issued using a standard template form published by the NSW Government.
A copy of the form is available for download:
A fire safety statement is a document issued by or on behalf of the owner(s) of an existing building.
The statement confirms that a competent fire safety practitioner has assessed, inspected and verified the performance of each fire safety measure that applies to the building.
There are two types of fire safety statements:
Annual fire safety statements
An annual fire safety statement must be issued each year and include all the essential fire safety measures that apply to a building. The statement also verifies that a competent fire safety practitioner has inspected and confirmed that the exit systems in the building are in compliance with the Regulation.
Supplementary fire safety statements
A supplementary fire safety statement is issued at more regular intervals (as specified in the fire safety schedule) for any critical fire safety measures that apply to a building.
Fire safety statements must be issued using a standard template form published by the NSW Government.
Following feedback from building owners, councils and industry stakeholders, the Department has updated the fire safety statement form. The new standard template form applies to all fire safety statements issued from 1 February 2020.
Note: Building owners should check the date on which their fire safety statement is likely to be issued before selecting the relevant form and preparing the statement.
For statements to be issued before 1 February 2020, use Version 2.0 of the template form:
For statements to be issued on or after 1 February 2020, use Version 3.0 of the template form:
To assist building owners and practitioners apply the requirements of the Regulation relating to fire safety statements, the Department has published a range of frequently asked questions.
The frequently asked questions also provide a high-level overview of some important components of the NSW legislation relating to fire safety in existing buildings.
A competent fire safety practitioner is a person that is required to undertake certain specialist fire safety assessment functions required by the Regulation.
The Department of Customer Service has established a co-regulatory framework to recognise industry accreditation schemes for competent fire safety practitioners. The first accreditation scheme is expected to become operational in April 2020 and when this occurs, a competent fire safety practitioner will need to be selected from a register of accredited practitioners (if that practitioner is required to be accredited).
Further information about the accreditation schemes can be found on the Fire safety practitioner page of the NSW Fair Trading website.
Until the accreditation scheme commences, or if a practitioner is not required to be accredited, it is the responsibility of the certifier (in the case of new building work) or building owner (in the case of fire safety statements) to determine and document that a person is a competent fire safety practitioner (clause 167A(4) of the Regulation).
Two guides have been developed to assist building owners and building certifiers with these responsibilities:
Page last updated: 08/10/2020