New requirements for Building Fire Safety Regulation

Certifiers, councils, industry practitioners, and affected building owners and developers need to be aware of new fire safety requirements for buildings.

Following on from changes made in February 2023, new requirements will be introduced from 1 August 2023.

Examples of changes are:
From 1 August 2023, the Amending Regulation will expand the types of building proposals that must be referred to FRNSW for comment and the stages for referral.

From 1 August 2023, the Amending Regulation requires local councils and certifiers to use a mandatory fire safety schedule template for Class 1b to 9 buildings where new fire safety measures are proposed or existing measures are changed.

There will also be more changes from February 2025 which will included:

From 13 February 2025, the Amending Regulation will mandate processes for the routine maintenance of specific essential fire safety measures.

These requirements apply to buildings where annual or supplementary fire safety statements are required. Currently, the DCFS Regulation requires building owners to ensure that each essential fire safety measure in their building performs to at least the standard specified in the fire safety schedule or, for some pre-1997 buildings, at least to the standard the measure was originally designed and installed. This would necessarily involve routine maintenance even though processes for routine maintenance have not previously been specified in the DCFS Regulation.

The Amending Regulation will require owners to ensure that inspection, testing and, where applicable, other servicing of essential fire safety measures in new and existing Class 1b to 9 buildings are done in accordance with Australian Standard 1851-2012 Routine service of fire protection systems and equipment (AS 1851), where applicable. The standard covers testing
processes, frequency and documentation for specific fire safety measures.