NSW – Hendry advises building owners of their legal obligation, under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EPAR), to supply an Essential Fire Safety Measures annual fire safety statement to Council and the Fire Commissioner (NSW Fire Brigades) and have the annual fire safety statement prominently displayed in the building verifying that the Essential Fire Safety Measures.

The annual fire safety statement is a statement issued by or on behalf of the owner of the building to the effect that each essential fire safety measure for the building specified in the annual fire safety statement has been assessed by a properly qualified person and was found, when it was assessed, to be capable of performing to a standard no less than that:

(a) specified in the fire safety schedule for the building; or

(b) to which the measure was originally designed and implemented, where the measure was provided prior to a fire safety schedule.

Building owners should be mindful that the assessment and inspection of an essential fire safety measure must have been carried out within the period of 3 months prior to the date on which the annual fire safety statement is issued.  The owner also chooses the person to carry out the inspection or assessment of the measure/s and it is up to that person to verify the performance of each essential fire safety measure being assessed before the building owner signs the annual fire safety statement.

The annual fire safety statement for a building must be given within 12 months after the date on which an annual fire safety statement was previously given or within 12 months where a final/ interim fire safety certificate, provided for occupation of the building, has been issued.

Failure to give the annual fire safety statement to Council within 12 months constitutes a separate offence for each week beyond the expiry date of the previous annual fire safety statement or the issue of the fire safety certificate.