REG-09

Exemptions for Fire Safety Provisions when Altering a Building

NSW  Hendry advises that if any Category 3 fire safety provisions (essential fire safety measures) are considered to be unreasonable or unnecessary in the particular circumstances of a proposed development, application may be made to the Fire Commissioner (Fire and Rescue NSW) for an exemption from certain fire safety provisions. Some examples of Category 3 fire safety provisions include fire hydrants, sprinkler systems, fire control centres, smoke hazard management systems, emergency lifts, etc.

If any Category 3 fire safety provisions are considered to be unreasonable or unnecessary in the particular circumstances of a proposed development, application may be made to the Fire Commissioner under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000 (EPAR) for an exemption from certain fire safety standards for fire safety provisions. There are two situations when this may apply under EPAR Clause 188:

  • A Development Application or an application for a complying development certificate for the change of building use for an existing building that does NOT seek any alteration, enlargement or extension of the building or alteration to fire safety provisions; or
  • An application for a Construction Certificate for building work, other than building work associated with a change of building use.

There is no (turn around) time frame specified in EPAR Clause 188 for the Brigades determination. It must be noted, however, that the fire safety provisions assessment is made on the basis of documents and plans submitted. If the documentation is not complete under EPAR, Fire and Rescue NSW cannot proceed and the application will be rejected.

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