Green and white illuminated fire exit sign erected on a building ceiling banner image

Fire safety

Fire safety rules apply to all types of buildings including residential, commercial, retail, and industrial.

For new buildings, you must design and build your development to meet fire safety standards.

For existing buildings, an accredited practitioner (fire safety) must regularly inspect all fire safety measures. You can find the fire safety measures that apply to your building in the Fire Safety Schedule issued for the premises.

As a building owner, you are responsible for maintaining fire safety measures. In strata properties, the owners’ corporation or body corporate carries this responsibility. It is also your responsibility to:

  • complete an Annual Fire Safety Statement and send it to Council and Fire and Rescue NSW
  • display your Fire Safety Statements in a prominent position inside the building so that Council or Fire and Rescue NSW officers can see them when inspecting the premises
  • keep all exit doors in good working condition, and corridors or other paths of egress clear of any obstruction.

Development certification and fire safety requirements

The Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Regulation 2021 (the Regulation) includes provisions for development certification and fire safety requirements. These requirements were recently introduced to improve the:

  • safety in new and existing buildings
  • quality and checking process of the design, approval, construction, and maintenance phases of the building life cycle.

Smoke alarms are a simple and effective way to detect smoke and provide a warning when there is a fire.

In the event of a fire, smoke alarms can save lives and help reduce property damage.

Smoke alarms are required by law in all:

  • homes
  • apartments
  • units
  • rental properties
  • relocatable homes
  • hotels and motels
  • caravans
  • moveable dwellings
  • any other residential buildings where people sleep.

Change your smoke alarm batteries

Don't forget to change your smoke alarm’s backup battery at least once a year to make sure it's in good working order. Pick a date that’s easy for you to remember such as the day you change your clocks back after daylight savings.

More information

A Fire Safety Schedule outlines all of the essential fire safety measures in a building. It can include measures that are already in place, as well as ones that are proposed.

A Fire Safety Schedule is issued with a:

  • development or complying development consent when there is a change in the use of a building (eg. if you're converting a shop to an office)
  • construction certificate of complying development approval for new building work
  • fire safety order.

The schedule is taken to form part of the development consent, construction certificate, or fire safety order.

Apply for a copy of your Fire Safety Schedule

A Fire Safety Certificate is issued by or on behalf of the building owner(s) when new building work is completed. It confirms all required fire safety measures that apply to the building (listed in the Fire Safety Schedule) have been installed and checked by an accredited practitioner (fire safety). This helps to verify that the required fire safety measures can perform to the minimum standard.

As the building owner, you must submit a Fire Safety Certificate before you use your building, for:

  • a new building
  • changed use of a building
  • fire safety upgrade works required by Council.

You must display the Fire Safety Certificate and the current Fire Safety Schedule in a prominent location within your building.

You will need to lodge an Annual Fire Safety Statement every 12 months after the Fire Safety Certificate is issued.

Apply for a Fire Safety Certificate

Complete an application by downloading the template form required by the NSW Government:

Send your completed application, with a copy of the Fire Safety Schedule, to Council and Fire and Rescue NSW:

More information

There are two types of Fire Safety Statements:

  1. Annual Fire Safety Statements
  2. Supplementary Fire Safety Statements.

An Annual Fire Safety Statement confirms that an accredited practitioner (fire safety) has:

  • assessed, inspected, and verified the performance of each fire safety measure that applies to the building
  • inspected and confirmed that the exit systems in the building are in compliance with the Regulation.

An Annual Fire Safety Statement must be issued each year.

A Supplementary Fire Safety Statement is issued at more regular intervals (stated in the Fire Safety Schedule) for any critical fire safety measures that apply to a building.

You must display your Fire Safety Statement and the current Fire Safety Schedule in a prominent location within your building.

Apply for a Fire Safety Statement

You can apply for a Fire Safety Statement by completing the template form required by the NSW Government:

Send your completed application to Council:

As soon as possible after your Fire Safety Statement is issued, you must provide Fire and Rescue NSW with a copy, along with the building's current Fire Safety Schedule, to Fire and Rescue NSW:

More information

An accredited practitioner (fire safety) is a person that carries out certain specialist fire safety assessment functions required by the Regulation. Accredited practitioners (fire safety) were previously known as competent fire safety practitioners.

An accredited practitioner does not need to install or do routine maintenance, testing and servicing of essential fire safety measures.

Only FPAA-accredited practitioners can carry out the functions of an accredited practitioner (fire safety) where that function is covered by the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA) Scheme. Certain registered certifiers can also endorse the plans and specifications for certain fire safety systems.

There are currently no FPAA-accredited practitioners for some fire safety functions. For these functions, a building owner or building certifier will need to determine that a person is an accredited practitioner (fire safety). The Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure has developed guides to help building owners and certifiers determine whether a person is an accredited practitioner (fire safety).

More information

For more information, contact our Development Help Desk: