NSW Government reaffirms commitment to community fire safety

Posted on : Friday, 28 July 2017

Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) acknowledges that the announcement today by the New South Wales Government of a comprehensive fire safety package is a significant, positive step to addressing the fire safety of high-rise buildings.


The 10-point plan has been developed by the Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce, and was announced today by the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean. It is part of a whole-of-government response to the risk from flammable wall cladding, as seen in the recent tragic Grenfell fire in London and the prior Lacrosse apartment fire in Melbourne.


"FPA Australia has supported the NSW Government in developing the fire safety reforms that play a significant role in the new plan, which will greatly assist in restoring consumer confidence in the safety of their buildings," said FPA Australia Chief Executive Scott Williams.


"We welcome this comprehensive 10-point action plan as an important step towards reducing the potential fire risk of non-compliant cladding in NSW."


A desktop audit by the Taskforce of 178,000 buildings across NSW found that 1011 had external wall cladding installed which need to be inspected for any level of non-compliance.


"To our knowledge this is the largest review of potentially impacted buildings in Australia to date, covering a very significant number going back many decades," said Mr Williams.

The Taskforce is currently notifying owners of buildings that may have external wall cladding installed of the need to review the fire safety measures in their buildings to ensure they remain appropriate and effective. This includes confirmation that the cladding selected and installed is compliant with the Building Code of Australia, relevant technical standards and local regulation.


"In the interim we advise people concerned about their building to contact the building owner or manager to review documentation and determine if the correct wall cladding has been installed. Fire safety professionals should be engaged to determine whether the cladding installed is compliant," said Mr Williams.


"Importantly, make sure your fire safety systems and equipment are fully operational and maintained, and that your Annual Fire Safety Statement is up to date. Take immediate action to rectify any non-compliance with external cladding or fire safety systems or equipment."


A convenient listing of fire safety professionals can be found at www.fpaa.com.au/provider.


In closing, Mr Williams said: "Community safety is the priority, and the announcement today supports the Government and industry's dedication to this goal."


For more information contact:

Tom Bicknell
Communications Manager, FPA Australia
03 8892 3118