Fire safety is a crucial part of protecting people, property and the environment from severe harm or damage. There are many regulations that need to be complied with when building a new development, but the regulations don’t stop there. Once the strata scheme is up and running, the most important part of complying with fire safety regulations are the mandatory fire safety inspections. To make the process easier for you, we at Jamesons have prepared a quick guide on them.
How often should your property be inspected, and who is authorised to carry out the inspection?
In order for your strata scheme to comply with the law, you need to have yearly fire safety inspections done by a competent fire safety practitioner. The owners corporation has the capacity to choose the person carrying out the inspection, but this is also something that a competent and well-connected strata manager could help you with. There is also a handy guide provided by Planning NSW on how to choose a competent fire safety practitioner that you can find here.
What happens during a fire safety inspection?
When your strata was set up, the owners corporation had to issue a fire safety schedule for the whole building. This had to include all critical fire safety measures and had to be signed off by a qualified person. Now, each year, when the annual fire safety inspection takes place, the fire safety practitioner will ensure that the building complies with all the measures set up in the schedule. This includes things like exit signs, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting in public areas, and perimeter access for emergency vehicles.
If the fire safety practitioner finds that your building complies with all measures, they will sign the fire safety statement immediately. If your building needs any updates or repairs to comply fully, you have three months to carry out the works to ensure compliance with all fire safety measures. The relevant regulations are in Part 9 of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulation 2000, which you can find in our handy document bank.
The fire safety statement and what happens when you don’t follow the regulations
The fire safety statement is issued by or on behalf of the building’s owner. It needs to include certain information – like the building’s address, the essential fire safety measures of the building, and the contact details of the fire safety practitioner – and has to be signed by the owner and the fire safety practitioner. It then has to be sent to the local council, which is crucial. If you don’t comply with these regulations, fines can range from $1,000 for one week overdue all the way up to $110,000 for failure to provide the statement at all.
Do you want to have excellent, competent and friendly strata management for your strata property? Contact the team at Jamesons today!