Fire safety: legislative amendments from 1 October

7 Aug 2017
From 1 October 2017 there will be stricter requirements for the design, approval, inspection and maintenance of fire safety systems in complex buildings.

The improved design, installation and maintenance of building fire safety systems is a NSW Government priority being achieved through amendments to the EP&A Regulation.

From 1 October:

  • a 'competent fire safety practitioner' must design any hydraulic fire safety system, fire detection and alarm system (but not simple home smoke detectors), or mechanical ducted smoke control system
  • for any of the above systems, the applicant must submit plans and specifications endorsed by a competent fire safety practitioner, to the certifying authority
  • proposed performance solutions must include a report from a competent fire safety practitioner
  • two new critical stage inspections apply, to bounding construction (class 2, 3 and residential parts of class 4 buildings), and fire protection of service penetrations (class 2, 3, 9a and 9c and residential parts of class 4 buildings)
  • the applicant may apply to the certifying authority for an exemption from a BCA provision, for a minor modification to an existing fire safety system, subject to strict regulated criteria
  • Fire and Rescue NSW will have power to inspect class 2 and 3 buildings before occupation, if work on relevant fire safety systems has been carried out
  • standard forms will apply for fire safety certificates and annual fire safety statements.

The requirement to use a competent fire safety practitioner accredited by a Government-recognised scheme will commence when the accreditation framework is set and industry-managed accreditation schemes are recognised.

Until then, the certifier or applicant will need to verify a practitioner's competency.

Updates will be published in the Board’s e-news and on our website.