Fire safety reforms were introduced last year to make buildings safer and increase compliance with fire safety measures. The changes affect building owners, developers, fire safety practitioners, certifiers and building practitioners. The commencement of the reforms was staggered from earlier this year. Fire Safety Schedules must now be issued using a standard template form published by the NSW Government.
The aim of the changes are to reduce life safety risks, damage to property and the incidence and cost of fire safety defects. They implement a number of recommendations from a report commissioned by the Office of the Building Commissioner, improving fire safety in new and existing buildings.
Reforms were introduced to fire safety regulations to improve compliance with requirements for the design, certification and maintenance of fire safety measures in buildings through:
- increasing the involvement of Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) in reviewing non-standard fire safety design proposals,
- creating an independent checker role to assess newly installed fire safety measures before buildings are occupied,
- improving documentation of fire safety measures by standardising documentation and simplifying amendment processes, and
- mandating procedures for the maintenance of fire safety measures.
Improving fire safety is something that the NSW government take seriously for the benefit of all residents.