Call for building owners to submit Fire Safety Statements

07 Sep 2017

Owners of commercial premises and apartment buildings across Newcastle are being urged to submit overdue Annual Fire Safety Statements (AFSS) to help ensure the safety of customers, staff and residents.

A recent audit revealed a large number of all relevant premises within the local government area had not submitted their AFSS, which is required under NSW law.

The statement certifies that relevant commercial premises, multi-unit residential buildings or industrial buildings meet standards for fire safety measures, including:

  • smoke detection and alarm systems
  • sprinkler systems
  • fire doors
  • fire hose reels, fire hydrants and portable fire extinguishers
  • emergency lighting and exit signs, and
  • evacuation plans

Building owners who haven't lodged an AFSS with Newcastle City Council and Fire & Rescue NSW face on-the-spot fines up to $4000.

However, Council Interim CEO Jeremy Bath said a grace period was in place until Sunday 1 October for this year's overdue AFSS.

"Don't get burnt - now is the time to submit any overdue Annual Fire Safety Statements," he said.

"We want to give people an opportunity to get it sorted without the immediate threat of being fined.

"This is about having adequate measures in place to ensure the safety of everyone who uses your building."

Under NSW law, relevant building owners must organise a qualified inspector each year to check fire safety measures listed in their fire safety schedule.

The resulting AFSS is then lodged with Council and Fire & Rescue NSW, and displayed in the building to which it pertains.

Any building owner unsure of whether they are required to submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement should contact Council on 4974 2000.