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Building Fire Safety Regulation/Annual Fire Safety Statement
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31/08/2017 - 11:10 pm
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I need some clarification on the recent changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 that will commence on 1 October 2017.

My existing building (Est:1970) has 6 Lots (double storey townhouses), double brick, each has their own individual porches and courtyards, and a shared carport at the back of the property.

No shared foyers/landings etc.

All townhouses have smoke alarms, of which 3 tenanted Lots have yearly checks/certification paid for by the owners themselves (organised by the Property Manager).

I've checked our Strata archives....there appears to have been no Fire Safety Statement completed nor have I been contacted by the local Council advising of any overdue Statement since I've come on board the SC over 12 months ago.

From the 1 October it says that "building owners will need to select a competent fire safety practitioner (accredited) to undertake the necessary assessments and inspections before an annual Fire Safety Statement can be issued". 

It says "many building owners are required to ensure safety measures serving their building are kept in working order".

I dont want to draw attention to our building if we are not required to complete the Annual Fire Safety Statement...yet I want to make sure that we avoid a council fine if we are required to complete this statement.

How do I find out if we are required or not required to complete this statement?

Lady Penelope

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01/09/2017 - 9:18 am
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From the description that you have provided it appears that your buildings may be classified as Class 1a. Your buildings may not be a buildings that is required to comply with the new fire safety regulations. Your building is also not a new building, having been built in 1970. 

The new regulations appear to cover Class 2 to Class 9 buildings.

The definition of a Class 1a building is:

"A Class 1a building is a single dwelling being a detached house; or one of a group of attached dwellings being a town house, row house or the like." 

The description of your building does not support it being a Class 2 building. The definition of a Class 2 building is:

"Class 2 buildings are apartment buildings. They are typically multi-unit residential buildings where people live above and below each other. The NCC describes the space which would be considered the apartment as a sole-occupancy unit (SOU).
Class 2 buildings may also be single storey attached dwellings where there is a
common space below. For example, two dwellings above a common basement
or carpark."

Check with your local council to confirm your building classification to make sure it is a Class 1a building.

The Explanatory Note for the new regulations states:

The object of this Regulation is to implement some of the recommendations made as a result of the independent statutory review of the Building Professionals Act 2005. This is achieved by amending the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 dealing with fire safety and building certification so as to:
(a) require plans and specifications to be submitted in relation to work on certain fire safety systems in class 2–9 buildings, and
(b) introduce critical stage inspections for class 2–9 buildings, and
(c) introduce a new alternative solution report for fire safety alternative solutions for class 1b - 9 buildings, and
(d) require fire safety statements and fire safety certificates to be in a form approved by the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment, and
(e) provide for the Secretary of the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation to recognise persons as competent fire safety practitioners (who are qualified, under the amended provisions, to prepare alternative solution reports and endorse plans and specifications).

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