Fire safety certificates and statements
Owners of buildings have a legal obligation to ensure all fire safety measures on their property are maintained and in working condition. This is a requirement of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
This applies to commercial, industrial and residential buildings.
NSW government changes in July 2020 affected building owners, developers and certifiers, with the commencement of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018. To find out about the changes to fire safety certification, including frequently asked questions and the role of an accredited practitioner (fire safety), visit the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
Fire Safety Certificates
A Fire Safety Certificate is issued by or on behalf of the building owner upon completion of new building work. It confirms that fire safety measures have been installed and checked by a qualified person. More information and a standard template are available from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
Fire safety measures include equipment, forms of construction or strategies in a building. This includes fire extinguishers, hydrants, sprinklers, detection and alarm systems and lightweight construction. See Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Regulation 2021 for more information.
What is an ‘accredited practitioner’?
An ‘accredited practitioner (fire safety)’ is a person who undertakes specialised fire safety assessment, as required by regulation.
Building owners need to select an accredited practitioner (fire safety) from a register of accredited practitioners.
Accreditation is not required for the installation or routine maintenance of essential or critical fire safety measures.
Fire safety statements
A fire safety statement is issued by or on behalf of the owner of an existing building.
It confirms that an accredited practitioner (fire safety) has assessed, inspected and verified the performance of each fire safety measure in the building.
There are two types of fire safety statements:
- Annual fire safety statement: This statement must be issued each year and includes all essential fire safety measures that apply to a building. The statement verifies that an accredited practitioner (fire safety) has inspected and confirmed that the exit systems in the building are compliant.
- Supplementary fire safety statement: This statement is issued at more regular intervals (specified in the fire safety schedule) for any critical fire safety measures that apply to the building.
We offer a reminder service to help owners submit their annual Fire Safety Statements on time.
The service provides building owners or their managing agents with:
- reminder letters
- partially completed statements ready for completion and return
- an acknowledgement letter
- advice regarding changes to the fire safety schedule
- technical or regulatory advice, where possible
- copies of documentation, including relevant legislation.
Lodging your annual Fire Safety Statement
You need to lodge your annual Fire Safety Statement within three months of the date of inspection and assessment.
A copy of the statement must be submitted to us as well as Fire and Rescue NSW.
Any owner required by legislation to provide a statement must lodge one, regardless of whether the property is tenanted or vacant. Fines apply for failing to provide an annual or supplementary Fire Safety Statement.
Failure to maintain essential fire safety measures will also result in significant penalties.
Note: Audit inspections may be caried out by Council Officers. Where instances of for example, false or misleading, inaccurate information, and or fraudulent Fire safety Statements are submitted, Council may take legal/ and or enforcement action, and or notify the Accreditation body of Accredited Practitioners (Fire Safety) (APFS) being the Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPAA) and or NSW Fair trading. Please pass this information onto your APFS.