In the wake of the NSW Government’s announcements of major reforms to the state’s fire safety and building regulations last month, FPA Australia has prepared a set of Frequently Asked Questions that explain what the reforms are, and what fire protection professionals need to do as a result.
A key point of confusion for many is what will happen after the reforms come into force on 1 October, but before the NSW Government recognises an accreditation scheme for ‘competent fire safety practitioners’. The FAQ answers this question.
The NSW reforms are still evolving, and there are several key developments yet to come. The FAQ will be continually updated to reflect the latest information as it becomes available.
These reforms are possibly the most important change to the fire protection industry in decades, and FPA Australia is working closely with government and industry to ensure the reforms both improve fire safety outcomes and are practical for the industry.
Upcoming changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (the regulations) that become effective 1 October 2017, will impact building owners who are required to issue fire safety statements for their buildings.
The attached fact sheet outlines the current and proposed systems for the preparation of fire safety statements in NSW.
Building owners still has the option of engaging a “Competent Fire Safety Practitioner” (CFSP)
Rest assured, AESC is working with all Government and Industry bodies to ensure we continue to encompass all of the required competencies and aim to achieve the newly proposed accreditation.
Should you require any further advice or guidance in this matter please contact our office on 1300 237 200.
Victorian Building Regulations have been amended (Building Amendment Regulations 2016) to enable the adoption of the Standard AS1851-2012, at the discretion of the building owner.
With the amendment; Part 1205A, building owners and managers are now enabled in a simple and cost effective manner, to adopt the latest fire protection maintenance standard. The amendment allows AS1851-2012 to be adopted and supersede all other referenced AS1851 editions listed in issued occupancy permits or certificates of final inspection.
The Victorian Building Authority has not yet released an amended Practice Note to qualify the implementation of the amendment.
The Standard AS1851-2012 has been amended as of November 2016, removing some baseline requirements that were not required at the time of installation or alteration of fire services or at time of construction.
- The adoption of AS1851-2012 is not mandatory.
- Once adopted, a building owner must continue to apply AS 1851-2012.
- The process of adoption, relevant documentation required and annual contractor certification requirements are described under Section 1 and in each other relevant part of the Standard.
- Where an essential safety measures (ESM) schedule does not list AS1851 as a referenced standard for maintenance, the adoption is not relevant. This would include egress items, measures relating to evacuation procedures, emergency and exit lighting and in some cases, passive items.
- As a part of the amended regulatory requirement, the adoption of AS1851-2012 has to be noted on the issued Annual Essential Safety Measures Report; a relatively simple process given pending cost savings (e.g. for sprinkler systems and fire doors) and simplicity of adoption.
- The Standard is performance based – to the approved design of the system. If the system performance requirements are unknown, they will have to be established.
- There is no requirement to upgrade plant and equipment to comply with the Standard routine service lists.
- All service records have to be left in hard copy on site on completion of each service routine.
- Some additional data that was required such as valve and gauge registers, passive FRL drawings and an interface diagram have been removed with the As1851-2012 amendment
- Individual contractors are required to supply an annual condition report, to assist with annual building regulatory compliance.
- The Standard has been re-structured to remove regulatory and compliance ambiguity, and qualifying the terms critical defects, non-critical defects and non-conformances.
- Where static water systems are installed, there is a separate section of AS1851-2012 which should be implemented. While static water systems may not be a specifically listed item on an ESM schedule, they form a component of the hydrant or sprinkler systems.
- There is now a dedicated section for Emergency Planning in Facilities. Utilising this part of the standard is not mandatory as yet. Mindful there is still an obligation to have evacuation management in place in line with OH & S obligations
- Particular attention should be made to Section 1 – Scope and General Information for processes of adoption and clarification of points is clarified.
If you require any further advice or guidance please contact our office on 1300 237 200.
Amended December 2016