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Fire Safety


Fire Safety in the Home

With close to half of household fires in Australia originating from the kitchen, it is very important to know how you can prevent a fire from occurring in your home.
It is very important that you always pay attention when cooking and never leave anything unattended while in the kitchen. Fire NSW has prepared a number of fire safety tips that you should be keep in mind next time you are cooking.

If a fire does occur in your home, please remove yourself and all family members out of the premises and call 000 immediately.
For more information about how to stay fire safe in your home, please visit the NSW Fire Service’s website.
Alternatively you can find more information in this brochure.

Smoke Alarms

It is compulsory for smoke alarms to be fitted in all new and existing homes. A licensed electrician can supply and fit a smoke alarm that complies with the Australian Standards.

Fore more information visit:

Multi-Unit and Non-Residential Buildings

Under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, owners of commercial, industrial and residential buildings have a legal obligation to ensure that all fire safety measures are maintained to legislative standard.

These requirements are in place to:

  • Reduce the spread of a fire

  • Facilitate an orderly and safe evacuation of the building in case of an emergency

  • Protect people and property. 

​It is the responsibility of the building owner to ensure that:

  • All fire safety measures are professionally inspected and maintained

  • Fire Safety Statements are displayed in a clearly visible position within the building

  • All exit doors are in good working condition

  • All corridors are clear of any obstructions.

Council maintains a Fire Safety Register and penalties apply to owners of buildings who fail to provide annual Fire Safety Statements to Council when required.

Fire Safety Statements and Certificates

Before new building works begin, an owner must obtain a Construction Certificate or Complying Development Certificate and a Fire Safety Schedule.

The Fire Safety Schedule will indicate all existing and required fire safety measures to be installed in the building as required by the Building Code of Australia.

The Principal Certifying Authority must issue an Occupation Certificate before the building can be occupied. The Principal Certifying Authority must ensure that they have received an Interim or Final Fire Safety Certificate before the Occupation Certificate is issued.

A Fire Safety Statement is required to be submitted by the owner of a building to Council on an annual basis, indicating that each essential fire safety measure has been professionally assessed and certified.

The owner must also provide a copy of the Annual or Supplementary Fire Safety Statement to the Commissioner of the NSW Fire Brigades. In addition, a copy of the Statement and a copy of the current Fire Safety Schedule must be prominently displayed in the building.

For further information on essential fire safety measures, please refer to the fact sheets Essential Fire Safety Measures and Fire Safety-Owner's Responsibilities.


It is an offence to fail to provide the Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) to Council.  Substantial and continuing weekly penalty notices apply for this offence as tabled under Schedule 5 - Penalty Notice Offences under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000:

  • First week after the time for giving the AFSS expires - $1000; and
  • Second week after the time for giving the AFSS expires - $2000; and
  • Third week after the time for giving the AFSS expires - $3000; and
  • Fourth or any subsequent week after the time for giving the AFSS expires - $4000

Although it is not required to do so by law, Georges River Council sends courtesy reminder letters to the owner(s) of affected premises care of the address provided for rates and notices.  However, Georges River Council accepts no responsibility for any reliance upon it and the legal responsibility for providing the AFSS when it is due rests with the owner(s) of the premises and this is reflected under Part 9 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

Failure to submit an AFSS could also lead to legal proceedings in the Land and Environment Court where the maximum penalty for a breach is $110000.

Schedule 5 of the Regulations also tables other offences which relate to fire safety.

Request to Stay a Penalty Notice (PN)

Where an AFSS cannot be submitted due to legitimate unanticipated site events/circumstances, Council may consider an Annual Fire Safety Statement - Stay of Penalty Notice Application to stay the issue of a Penalty Notice for late submission of an AFSS.

Georges River Council is unlikely to  look favourably on any request where there has been previous poor compliance management and behaviour and/or where development type work is proposed to be carried out.

Applicants must complete Council's Annual Fire Safety Statement - Stay of Penalty Notice Form a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the AFSS due date.

Non-conforming building products (NCBP) (Residential flat and other type buildings)

Building and construction can be very complex. Even ‘simple’ buildings are comprised of many thousands of building products and materials. Choosing and using the right materials and products is important whether your building project is a small renovation, major alteration, maintenance of an existing building, or a completely new build.

All building work in Australia must meet certain performance and legal requirements. This ensures our buildings are safe, healthy and durable which means we all can have confidence in their performance.

Council will engage in various proactive Fire Safety activities to ensure buildings within the LGA continue to meet an acceptable level of fire safety.  These are outlined in Council's Fire Safety Corporate Protocol.

In recent times, and in particular the Grenfell Tower fire in London and Lacrosse apartment fire in Melbourne, concerns have been raised about the risks of using substandard (‘non-conforming’) products or materials, or using products and materials incorrectly (‘non-complying’). In these two cases, the use of NCBP (external wall cladding) to these buildings created a rapid spread of fire to the façade. The London fire outcome was disastrous in that the fire via the NCBP spread and engulfed the entire building. This demonstrates the importance of ensuring that selected products and materials are fit for the purpose for which they are intended to be used.      

The NSW Government has introduced new regulation that applies to certain types of buildings that contain external cladding. The Environmental Planning & Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with External Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2018 commences 22 October 2018. The Regulation outlines the buildings it applies to and the responsibilities for building owners to register their property details on the NSW Planning Portal.

The details must be provided for all applicable buildings occupied before the Regulation commenced and prior to 22 February 2019, or in any other case - within 4 months after the building is first occupied. For further information on this  Regulation, please visit the Planning NSW website.

Below are general information links to the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) website on matters relating to non-conforming building products (NCBP):


Additional Links

NSW Cladding Taskforce
Fire Protection Association Australia
National Fire Industry Association
Engineers Australia
Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding
Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Fact Sheet
Fire Safety Corporate Protocol
Essential Fire Safety Measures
Fire Safety-Owner's Responsibilities


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