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Improving fire safety in NSW 

Comments closed 31 January 2017 

 

New Regulation published

Update: The Environmental Planning Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017 has been published and will come into effect on 1 October 2017. 

For more information on Building Regulation and Certification Reform, including fire safety, visit the Planning and Environment website

 

What is this about? 

The NSW Government has passed reforms which aim to improve fire safety in new and existing buildings. These reforms have been given special priority by the government in their response to the final report on the statutory review of the Building Professionals Act 2005, released in September 2016.

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What has happened so far? 

The reforms were developed by the Department of Planning and Environment and the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, in conjunction with key stakeholders. A public consultation on the draft Regulation was carried out early in 2017 and closed on 31 January 2017.

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What are the changes? 

The changes cover a broad range of buildings, at various stages of construction, including the design, construction, pre-occupation and post-occupation stages.

The reforms include:

  • new requirements around submitting and checking plans and specifications for fire safety systems in some buildings
  • additional critical stage inspections for some buildings
  • reports required for all alternative fire safety solutions in some buildings
  • random inspections of fire safety systems by Fire and Rescue NSW before occupation certificates can be issued for multi-dwelling residential buildings.

These reforms will also require greater involvement of specialist practitioners to perform certain fire safety functions such as carrying out annual fire safety statement checks. Specialists will be regulated through a new accreditation framework, and a separate consultation process in relation to this aspect of the reforms will be conducted by the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation later in 2017.

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What are the next steps? 

The Environmental Planning Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017 has been published and will come into effect on 1 October 2017. 

The Department of Finance, Services and Innovation is now working on developing the accreditation framework for competent fire safety practitioners.

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Important Documents 

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