Fire Safety

Fire Safety

The following information is important for all property owners, property managers, tenants, and business operators who own, occupy or manage buildings. This information aims to increase general fire safety awareness, and develop an understanding of modern day fire safety issues and how Council commonly deals with building fire safety. 

The prevention of many types of fires and fire related risks is addressed by NSW Fire and Rescue, who have developed a comprehensive range of fact and information sheets - go to the NSW Fire and Rescue website here.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are life-saving devices, capable of detecting smoke well before it would be detected by a sleeping occupant. This is why smoke alarms are compulsory where people sleep - in houses, other accommodation buildings, and moveable dwellings such as caravans. Visit the NSW Planning’s smoke alarms page to find out more. 

Smoke alarm battery replacement for the elderly (SABRE)

The Smoke Alarm and Battery Replacement for the Elderly (SABRE) Program is designed to increase safety awareness, education and confidence in regards to fire and other safety issues across NSW. 

Firefighters can visit the residence at an arranged time to install a battery-operated smoke alarm or replace existing smoke alarm batteries at no cost. The resident must supply the battery-operated smoke alarm or batteries. Firefighters can also provide safety advice while visiting premises.

Visit the NSW Fire and Rescue page SABRE - Smoke Alarm and Battery Replacement Program to find out more.

Smoke alarms for the deaf and hearing impaired

Specialised smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment. These have a flashing strobe light and/or a vibrating pad that can be placed under the pillow which activate when the smoke alarm sounds and are designed to interconnect with conventional audible alarms in different locations within the home. If one of the alarms senses smoke, all alarms will sound, the strobe will flash and the vibrating pad will operate. 

Visit the NSW Fire and Rescue page Smoke alarms for the deaf and hearing impaired page to find out more.

Commercial/industrial buildings

What are the responsibilities of the building owner?

Owners of commercial or industrial premises and some residential flat buildings have a legal obligation to ensure that all fire safety measures installed on the premises are maintained in good working condition at all times.

A fire safety measure is any aspect of construction, piece of equipment or part of an evacuation plan that is required to ensure the safety of people within the building in the event of fire or other emergency.

It is the responsibility of the building owner to ensure:

  • all fire safety measures are inspected by a competent fire safety practitioner to ensure the measures are being maintained to the appropriate standard of performance,
  • Fire Safety Statements are displayed in a clearly visible position, 
  • all exit doors are kept in good working condition, and corridors or other paths of egress are kept clear of any obstructions.

These requirements are in place to promote the prevention and spread of fire. Fire safety measures assist in reducing the spread of a fire and early detection helps to save property and lives. 

Note: All paperwork provided by your service provider is for the owner only and is NOT to be lodged with Council. It is important that records of inspections are kept by the owner.

Competent fire safety practitioners: a guide for building certifiers (PDF 2.1MB)

What is a Fire Safety Statement?

The fire safety statement is a declaration that the existing essential fire safety measures serving the building have been assessed and are capable of performing to the standard required. It also declares that the building has been inspected and no fire exit breaches were observed. 

A statement for a building must deal with each essential fire safety measure in the building premises and is required by law to be renewed each year (or less, depending on what the Fire Safety Schedule states). It must be lodged within three months of the date of inspection and assessment.

How do I lodge my statement?

NSW Planning has created templates for Fire Safety Certificate and Statements to be used for all required buildings throughout NSW. 

Fire Safety Certificate (PDF 154.6KB)

Fire Safety Statement (PDF 162KB)

These can be completed online then lodged electronically at council@armidale.nsw.gov.au and firesafety@fire.nsw.gov.au 

What will happen if I do not submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement?

Under the legislation, the owner of an affected building is legally responsible for ensuring a Fire Safety Statement covering all relevant essential Fire Safety Measures is submitted regularly to Council. Penalties apply if an owner fails to do this.