NSW fire safety design, certification and maintenance compliance improvements

NSW Government are implementing further changes to fire safety legislation that is in part due to the identification of non-compliance by Fair Trading.

Key Fair Trading Finding

‘Serious defects in fire safety systems are the second most common defect identified by inspections of class 2 buildings undertaken under Fair Trading’s Occupation Certificate (OC) audit program, arising in around 46% of buildings. Research found serious fire-related defects were in around 14% of strata buildings completed between 2015 and 2021.’

The relevant legislation Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Amendment (Fire Safety) Regulation 2022, prescribed improvements commencing 1 August 2023 include:

  • A performance-based design brief for proposed performance solution(s) relating to fire safety when a Construction Certificate or OC is required for a class 2 to 9 building must request the Fire Commissioner’s comment on the brief.
  • The request must be made during the development of the performance-based design brief, and in the way required by the Fire Commissioner.
  • The approved form of Fire Safety Schedules and Fire Safety Certificates (FSC) templates approved by the Commissioner for Fair Trading are to be used.
  • FSC will require the inclusion of the full name, business address, telephone number and accreditation number of each accredited practitioner (fire safety) who carried out an assessment of a Fire Safety Measure (FSM).

Please refer to the NSW Legislation notifications website for copies of the Amending Regulation.

Further legislative changes to fire safety in NSW are proposed from 13 February 2025 (or 18 months after an accreditation scheme is approved, whichever occurs first) relating to:

  • Persons who certify installed FSM before a FSC is issued must be accredited.

Should you have any questions or just wish to find out more about Fire Safety Measures do not hesitate to contact [email protected]