13 Apr PENALTIES FOR FIRE SAFETY OFFENCES
In year 2000 the NSW State Government introduced a stringent penalty system to assist local Council’s in administering compliance with current fire safety regulations. As a result of Amendments to the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulation 2000, building owners who are late (even 1 day) in submitting their Annual Fire Safety Statements (AFSS) may receive a $500 fine in the first week after the Statement is due. If this continues to occur, the fine progressively increases in increments of $500 per week for every week thereafter, up to a maximum of $2000. Sounds pretty aggressive yeah? For what we change to test, repair & certify your building this could be the price of your first day fine! Imagine if this went on for weeks? If you are running late and you can show that you have a maintenance contractor taking care of things E.g. Maintenance, repairs OR upgrades then you can ask council for an extension.
It is suggested that the arrangements for maintenance checks of existing fire safety measures be commenced approximately 3 months before the deadline for when the Annual Fire Safety Statement is due. (So they give us a 3 months window to do the job, carry out repairs and get paid so the AFSS can be released)
This is in order to provide sufficient lead time for building owners to co-ordinate all of the necessary testing with various maintenance contractors well ahead of the deadline to ensure they have time for compliance, which should also take into account an allowance for access difficulties and repair time etc.
The legislation states that an Annual Fire Safety Statement must cover all essential fire safety measures installed in the building. Even if a Statement is submitted on time but is only partially completed, it will still attract a penalty.
A range of other penalties, which vary in monetary value from $100 to $3000, are also applicable for offences such as:
- Not displaying Fire Safety Certificates, Annual Fire Safety Statements, or fire safety notices on-site
- Failure to maintain essential fire safety measures
- Interfere, obstruct, remove or damage fire safety notices, fire doors, fire exits or paths of travel that lead to exits
- Failure to provide smoke alarms in any residential building in accordance with Smoke Alarms Regulation
All offences can result in fines being issued on-the-spot, and at the same the property may also be subject to an Order being issued so as to resolve the matter which caused the offence.
The main offences we see are building owners not completing repairs and just signing off on the building as compliant! This should NEVER be done! Your fire safety schedule should always be completed by trained professionals like Sydney Extinguishers. If you were to sign off on the building as compliant and God forbid that something does go wrong and some one possibly dies then you WILL GO TO JAIL – Directly to jail and you will not PASS go…
To avoid any fines & ensure that your buildings Fire Systems are in place and working correctly. Call Sydney Extinguishers today on 0402 560 232.