4 Steps To Crushing Your Annual Fire Safety Statement
If you own a multi-unit residential development (such as an apartment building), or a commercial or industrial building in New South Wales, you must submit an annual fire safety statement (AFSS) to your local council yearly.
The fire safety statement is a New South Wales requirement that ensures that your assets meet NSW safety measures standards.
Preparing your fire safety statement can be stressful or require a lot of work. Especially when you need to submit one annually or more frequently for critical fire safety measures. In addition, prep work can increase if you own many assets and buildings. So, we’ve put together a helpful recipe for a stress-free AFSS experience.
Table of Contents
1. Check and implement a fire safety schedule
If you don’t already have a fire safety schedule, a qualified expert can work with you to develop schedules through inspections and baseline data collection. They must be a registered certifier- building surveyor, and in most cases, will need to have an ‘unrestricted’ license.
More likely, you already have a schedule in place, and this step is to check and ensure the accuracy of your schedule. Your schedule should reference each safety measure and the minimum standard of performance they need to be maintained to achieve.
2. Organise a safety measures inspection with a fire safety practitioner
You’ll need an accredited safety measure or fire safety practitioner to check each safety measure listed in your current fire safety schedule. A practitioner can customise inspections to the level you need to ensure that you capture all the information you need to achieve your needs and meet your legal obligations. Even more importantly, a practitioner will ensure that the fire safety measures within your building are safe and compliant.
3. Rectify any cases of non-compliance that show up in your report
If any major defects or issues arise, it’s a good idea to address them as soon as possible. A fire safety practitioner will make site-specific recommendations on how to rectify any cases of non-compliance. They’ll be able to guide you as to the legislative and regulatory requirements and advise on best practices.
Compliance experts like EST Compliance often have a specific service where they can help you assess your annual compliance reporting against state-specific requirements and regulations. Additionally, they can assist with the production, signing off and issuing the statement.
4. Lodge a copy of your fire safety statement to Fire and Rescue NSW and local council
You must submit an application to your local council one year after your previous statement.
When you’ve checked and finalised your AFSS using the previous steps, you need to send it to your local council via a portal (if they have one) or via email. You should be able to find the specifics of how to submit an application on your local council’s website.
You should also share a copy of your statement and the current schedule with Fire and Rescue NSW. You can lodge your statement with them by emailing it to email@example.com.
Finally, you should display a copy of the statement, along with the fire safety schedule, in your building or buildings.
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