Annual Fire Safety Certificates
Most Australian states and territories require building owners or occupiers to prepare and submit annual statements certifying that a building’s ﬁre and essential safety measures have been adequately maintained over the course of the preceding year and are ﬁt for purpose.
For those states and territories where no such obligations exist, there is nonetheless a responsibility to maintain these measures in an operational state. Penalties can apply for late submissions or failure to submit annual statements.
The annual certiﬁcation process typically involves:
- Verification, through a review of service documentation, that the building’s fire and essential safety measures are being adequately maintained according to the standards of maintenance applicable to the building
- A visual audit/assessment of the building’s fire and essential safety measures for defects that may cause those measures to perform to a lesser standard than required, with due regard to any ﬁre engineering 'Performance Solutions'
- Facilitation of a Systems Interface Test to verify that all fire safety systems interfaced throughout the building’s active fire systems operate in accordance with their design specification
- Coordination, collation and scrutiny of individual service contractor statements received in support of the building’s overall certification, and
- Preparation of an appropriately-formatted annual statutory fire and essential safety measures certificate, consistent with the requirements of the specific jurisdiction.
Greencap has an innovative online Property & Compliance Risk management platform to facilitate this process.
Greencap can make representations to local authorities on behalf of the building owner, when required, to manage any delays in the submission of annual certiﬁcation due to critical system defects and similar circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Annual Statutory Fire and Essential Safety Measures Certificate?
An annual statutory fire and essential safety measures certificate is a declaration by the building owner/owner’s agent, and in some cases the occupier, certifying and demonstrating that all reasonable steps have been undertaken to ensure that the that a building’s fire and essential safety measures have been maintained and are fit for purpose.
Which states and territories currently mandate the preparation of such statements?
Currently, the following states incorporate an obligation to prepare and, in some cases, submit an annual statutory fire and essential safety measures certificate:
|State||Name of Statutory Certificate||Submission Required to:|
|QLD||Occupier Statement||Queensland Fire and Emergency Services|
|NSW||Annual Fire Safety Statement||Local Council, Fire & Rescue NSW|
|VIC||Annual Essential Safety Measures Report||N/A|
|SA||FORM 3 - ESP Maintenance Verification||Local Council|
Note: not all properties within these jurisdictions require the submission of annual statements – most jurisdictions have exclusions relating to building age, classification and/or size. Please contact Greencap for further information.
What are a building’s fire and essential safety measures?
Fire safety measures are defined as the fire, life safety and health items installed within a building to provide safety (and property protection) to the occupants. These items may include (but are not limited to):
- Building fire integrity such as fire compartmentation and passive protection
- Means of egress
- Exit Signs and Emergency Lighting
- Fire-fighting equipment, e.g., portable fire extinguishers, fire hose reels, fire hydrants, fire pump sets,
- Automatic fire sprinkler systems
- Automatic fire detection & alarm systems
- Emergency warning and intercommunication systems
- Building clearance and fire appliances
- Fire protection mechanical air-handling system, e.g., stair pressurisation, smoke exhaust fans, smoke spill fans, etc.
Each state and territory have their own terminology with respect to fire and essential safety measures. For example, these are known as “prescribed fire safety installations” in QLD, “essential fire safety measures” in NSW, “essential safety measures” in VIC and “essential safety provisions” in SA.
What must owners do?
It is the responsibility of the owner (or in QLD, the occupier) to ensure that the maintenance and assessment of their building’s fire and essential safety measures is performed, and that appropriate records of fire safety measures maintenance, services and repairs are kept. These records allow the annual statutory fire and essential safety measures certificate to be completed.
The owner (or occupier) must ensure that any party undertaking maintenance or assessment activity in support of their statutory certification obligations are suitably licenced/accredited in accordance with the requirements of the jurisdiction.
Who can sign-off the annual statutory fire and essential safety measures certificate?
All statutory fire and essential safety measures certificates require overall signoff by or on behalf of the building owner (or, in QLD, the building occupier). Many owners and occupiers delegate the responsibility of managing property affairs to property/body corporate managers or independent consultants. If a property manager or consultant, other than the owner, is chosen to sign-off the certificate, then appropriate written authority is required from the building owner/occupier.
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