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Also commonly known as an AFSS. An Annual Fire Safety Statement is a certificate that attests that each essential fire safety measure installed within any building has been assessed by a properly qualified person and was found to be capable of performing to the standard required by the most recent Fire Safety Schedule.
The owner of each building (or the owner's agent on behalf of the owner) is required to provide the certificate to the Council and the Fire Brigade each 12 months and to display the current certificate prominently at the premises.
This requirement was introduced in 1988 into the then Ordinance 70. Now it is contained in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (Part 9 Division 5).
Essential Fire Safety Measures are installations or types of construction that are incorporated into a building to ensure the safety of the occupants within the building in the event of fire or other emergency. These measures include but not limited to :
Clause 177 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation2000 states that it is an offence to fail to provide the statement. Escalating cumulative weekly penalty notices apply for this offence:
Deadbolts are not permitted as hardware in fire doors because they may impede the proper function of the door to be self latching. Deadbolts can be removed and replaced with certain approved hardware self latching hardware.
There are strict clearance limits on fire doors and if these gaps exceed the limits then the door is not compliant. In most cases, however, the use of approved fire seals can bring doors up to the required standard.
Only if the door is in disrepair has faulty hardware, or do not have the required compliance tag on the door. The only option is to have the doors replaced and have new hardware installed. Door replacement is not required if the operating function is compliant and contains compliant hardware.
Emergency Procedures and the application of OH&S Act and AS3745-2010
The following information provides some background into the Legislation and Standards related to Emergency Procedures, Warden Training, Occupant Familiarisation and Evacuation Drills for Buildings in NSW. In short, there are two documents which govern this subject:
AS3745-2010 lays down the guidelines for Emergency Procedures in buildings. It outlines the minimum requirements for establishing an Emergency Control Organisation, the training of appointed Wardens and the conducting of Trial Evacuation Drills.
1.2 APPLICATION This Standard applies to buildings, structures or workplaces occupied by people, with the exception of Class 1a buildings as defined in the Building Code of Australia, unless that dwelling is also used as a workplace.
This Standard does not attempt to over-ride legislative obligations in providing for the safety of occupants and visitors in facilities. It does, however, provide guidance for the planning and implementation of effective emergency planning committee (EPC) and emergency control organization (ECO) procedures, covering emergency situations up until the appropriate Emergency Service arrives to manage the situation, at which time, the ECO shall work in conjunction with that service.
The minimum requirements laid down in this standard require:
The legislation places an obligation on Building Owners, Building Managers (or Their Agents/Representatives) and employers (referred to in the legislation as "Occupiers" or "Controllers of the Premises") to provide a safe working environment for employees. (Statutory penalties for non-compliance do apply.)