A Guide on Annual Fire Safety Statements

Posted on: 16 October 2020

In Australia, commercial buildings are required to adhere to the essential fire safety measures to prevent property destruction, protect customers and tenants in case of a fire. Further, owners are required to submit an annual fire statement to the fire department and local council to validate that the essential fire safety measures in the building are fully functional. Below is a guide on the annual fire statement and the essential fire safety measures in Australia. 

All buildings built after 1994 have to comply with the essential fire safety measures to minimise property damage and human suffering in case of a fire. These measures include: 

  • The building should have emergency ladders, staircases, elevators and exits to reduce incidences of stampedes in case of a fire outbreak.
  • The building should have the required fire extinguishers. For example, a restaurant should have wet chemical extinguishers.
  • Install a fire alarm to warn people of a fire. Advanced systems will inform your security team where the fire broke out. Integrate the fire alarm with smoke detectors and sprinklers.
  • The building should have adequate ventilation to drive smoke out of the building once a fire breaks out.
  • Emergency lighting will direct occupants towards the emergency exits. 

Once construction works are complete, a certifier will inspect the building to ensure it meets the minimum standards. After this, the certifier will give a fire inspection certificate that expires after one year. Building owners are expected to display this certificate at the entrance of the building. 

On an annual basis, the owner should ask a competent fire safety practitioner to assess the functionality of the essential safety measures. The practitioner must be licenced to conduct fire inspections in your state. Otherwise, the local council will nullify the annual fire statement. The inspector will examine the following. 

  • The condition of the fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers require regular servicing and inspection to ensure the locking pin is in position, the pressure gauge is intact and that the extinguisher does not have any leaks.
  • The functionality of fire hydrants and fire hydrant pumps.
  • The availability of emergency water supplies.
  • Fire hose reels should not be frayed or punctured.
  • The inspector will test the functionality of the fire alarm and related components such as the sprinklers and smoke detectors.
  • The inspector will ensure that the doorways leading to the emergency exit are fully functional. 

You may need to make adjustments and repairs if the practitioner finds defects in your essential fire safety measures. It is important to note that people that forego the annual fire inspection could be penalised or prosecuted. Learn more by contacting services that can help with annual fire safety statements.