Fire Safety

AlburyCity in the interests of business, residents, visitors to the city and other stakeholders, seeks to increase safety in the city through community awareness and education, community projects and safe urban design.

With particular regard to fire safety, Council wishes to ensure that every building owner and/or manager is aware of the legal obligations pertaining to the installation and ongoing maintenance of fire safety features, particularly in commercial buildings.

The process involved in providing adequate fire safety involves:

  • Approval of an application to erect a building with the production of a Fire Safety Schedule (prepared by the Certifying Authority).
  • On completion of the building and prior to occupation, provision of a Fire Safety Certificate (to be provided by the builder, owner or owners agent) to the Council (The fire safety statement will reflect all fire safety measures listed upon the Fire Safety Schedule.
  • On the anniversary of the production of the fire safety certificate (or occupation of the building), the owner, or the owners agent must provide an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) to the Council and the NSW Fire Brigade. A copy of the statement must also be displayed in a prominent position within the building. To provide this the owner must have the fire safety measures in the building inspected and certified by a "competent person". It is recommended that copies of current certification (as provided by the "competent person") be kept by the owner.
  • Where extraordinary circumstances may prevail, the owner or the owner's agent must provide Council with a Supplementary Fire Safety Certificate. A Supplementary Fire Safety Statement applies to Critical Fire Safety Measures required that are of such importance that they must be certified more frequently than every 12 months.
  • Where deficiencies are identified, Council may issue  "Fire Safety Orders" requiring rectification works to be performed.

What is an annual fire safety statement?

An annual safety statement is a certificate that must be supplied to Council verifying the continued operation and maintenance of the essential fire safety measures. This is to be provided every year on the anniversary of the final fire safety certificate (occupation of the building).

Council recommends contacting a professional Building and Fire Safety Consultant or other competent person (i.e. an electrician for emergency lighting, illuminated exit signs, etc.) to inspect the essential fire safety measures certify that the measures are maintained and operating as required by the relevant standard to enable the owner to provide an annual fire safety statement.

Owner Obligations

A fire safety certificate must be issued for each new or altered essential fire safety measure:

  • When the fire safety work is finished
  • Before the new or altered building is occupied
  • When the use of the building changes. In this case, a fire safety schedule will also be required.

At least once every twelve months after the original fire safety certificate is issued an annual fire safety statement must be provided to Council certifying that:

  • A properly qualified person has inspected the building and assessed the fire safety measures; and
  • The measures are capable of performing to the relevant standards.

Existing buildings require an annual fire safety statement that certifies each of the measures listed in the most recent fire safety schedule as installed in the building complies with the standards listed in the fire safety schedule.

The owner of premises is responsible for:

  • Having the measures assessed by a qualified person;
  • Submitting the completed annual fire safety statement or fire safety certificate to Council and the NSW Fire Brigades; and
  • Displaying a copy of the annual fire safety statement or fire safety certificate in a prominent place.

The owner of the premises must:

  • Note the due date for the annual fire safety statement; and
  • Ensure the essential fire safety measures are inspected, certified and submitted before this date.

Send the completed annual fire safety statement to Council by email, post, fax or in person (for details visit Contact us on the homepage, and to the New South Wales Fire Brigade (fire.nsw.gov.au or call 02 9742 7400).

Download an Annual Fire Safety Statement.

Penalties for Failure to Provide an Annual Fire Safety Statement

It is an offence to fail to provide an annual fire safety statement under Clause 177 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

Substantial and continuing weekly penalty notices reflect the importance of providing an annual fire safety statement by the due date.

  • 1 week late $500
  • 2 weeks late an additional $1000
  • 3 weeks late an additional $1500
  • 4 weeks late an additional $2000

While Council sends a courtesy reminder letter to building owners, the responsibility for providing an annual fire safety statement remains the with the owner.

Failure to submit an annual fire safety statement can lead to legal proceedings in the Land and Environment Court, where the maximum penalty for a breach is $110,000.

Late submissions of annual fire safety statements may incur Penalty Infringement Notices.

Late Fires Safety Statements Due to Repair of Essential Safety Measures

Where an annual fire safety statement cannot be submitted because repairs are required to essential fire safety measures before they can be certified, Council may consider waiving (or suspending) weekly penalty infringement notices.  This request must be submitted in writing with sufficient supporting documentation and a clear indication of when the repairs will be completed.

The owner must:

  • Submit a written request to Council with supporting documentation
  • State a clearly when the repairs will be completed
  • Make arrangements for inspection of the essential fire safety measures
  • Provide an annual fire safety statement before the extended expiry date.

Where there is a history of late submission of an annual fire safety statements, Council will not waive Penalty Infringement Notices.

Fees

There is no fee for lodging a fire safety certificate, an annual fire safety statement or a supplementary fire safety statement.

Important Terms

Fire Safety Certificate

This certificate must be provided to Council after installation of essential fire safety measures and before a building is occupied. It certifies that all the measures in the fire safety schedule are installed and operating to the required standard of performance.

Annual Fire Safety Statement

This document states that all essential fire safety measures are installed and operating to the standards listed in the current fire safety schedule. It must be submitted to Council, the New South Wales Fire Brigades and displayed prominently in the building.

Fire Safety Schedule

A fire safety schedule includes:

  • A list of all essential fire safety measures required for a building; and
  • The effectiveness and capability of each measure to the legal standard.

A fire safety schedule can be issued:

  • By Council or an accredited certifier with a Construction Certificate or Complying Development Certificate for a new or altered building.
  • By Council with a Fire Safety Order under Order 6, Section 121 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
  • If a Council inspection finds that a premise is not adequately fire safe.
  • By Council if there is change to the use of an existing building.

A fire safety schedule is only applicable if any of the above occurred after 1988, for premises other than a single dwelling or an outbuilding (e.g. shed).

Where no fire safety schedule exists, AlburyCity can produce one.  The fee to provide this service will be in accordance with AlburyCity fees and charges schedule.

Critical Fire Safety Measure

This fire safety measure is vital to the safety of the building and inhabitants. It must be assessed and certified at frequent, specified intervals throughout the year.

Essential Fire Safety Measures

These measures include fire hose reels, exit signs or portable fire extinguishers. For a comprehensive list of essential fire safety measures see the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

Supplementary Fire Safety Statement

A supplementary fire safety statement applies to critical fire safety measures installed on the building. As these are of higher importance more frequent certification is required. This will be specified on the fire safety schedule.