Fire safety upgrades for older buildings
For many older buildings, the fire safety requirements which existed at the time of construction may no longer be considered to provide adequate protection to the occupants in the event of fire.
Assessing upgrade requirements
The scope of work which may be necessary to upgrade an existing building can be determined through fire safety inspections and assessments from a suitably qualified and accredited Building Code of Australia consultant, accredited certifier, fire safety professional, or by Council's Fire Safety Officer.
Council has authority to require safety upgrades
Council's Building Surveyors and Fire Safety Officers have the authority to require property owners to carry out fire safety upgrading or maintenance work stipulated in Order No. 6 Section 121B of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 where the following circumstances have arisen:
- Provision for fire safety or fire safety awareness is not adequate to prevent fire, suppress fire or prevent the spread of fire or ensure or promote the safety of persons in the event of fire.
- Maintenance or use of the premises constitutes a significant fire hazard.
Documentation required after completion of upgrades
In accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, upon completion of the works specified in a fire order, the owner is required to submit a final fire safety certificate to the Council regarding the certification of the fire safety measures contained in the attached fire safety schedule.
The owner of the building is also required to submit an annual fire safety statement to the Council regarding the inspection and operation of the fire safety measures on an annual basis.
Pre-1990s buildings need to be assessed
Owners of buildings which were constructed before the early 1990s are recommended to engage the services of a suitably qualified and accredited Building Code of Australia consultant, accredited certifier or fire safety professional to provide them and Council with a detailed report on the existing and proposed levels of fire safety within the building.
Council officers will consider the report and proposed works and if suitable, advise the owner how best to proceed with the works.
How to request a fire safety upgrade assessment
Any request to Council for an upgrade assessment should be submitted by the owner or manager of the building. To request your assessment please contact us