Fire safety proposed reforms released
The NSW Government today released a draft regulation that aims to improve fire safety standards in NSW buildings.
The proposals, which cover a broad range of buildings, and various stages of the building lifecycle, form part of the Government’s response to a recent Statutory Review of the Building Professionals Act 2005.
“Appropriate fire protection measures in buildings are crucial to ensuring life safety. These reforms will help to boost standards in the building industry and could potentially save lives,” Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said.
“NSW is experiencing a construction boom and we need modern laws that strengthen fire safety throughout the building process. The reforms will aim to ensure that people designing and checking fire safety systems have the necessary skills and competencies.”
The proposed reforms would apply to buildings including multi-unit residential, commercial, retail, industrial, health care and public-assembly structures. The proposed changes include:
- Independent random audits of high-risk residential buildings by personnel from Fire & Rescue NSW;
- Greater involvement of specialist practitioners in relation to certain fire-safety functions, regulated through a new accreditation framework; and
- New requirements around submitting and checking plans and specifications for fire safety systems.
The draft reforms follow consultation with key industry and community stakeholders. Feedback is sought on them by 31 January 2017 at www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/Buildings/Fire-Safety-Reforms.