Fire safety practitioners in New South Wales must consult with FRNSW for construction certificate


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From 1 August 2023 fire safety practitioners in New South Wales who develop a design brief for a performance solution for a fire safety requirement in a Class 2-9 building will need to consult with Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) if a construction certificate is required for the building work. This requirement will apply typically to fire safety engineers.

The engineering profession in NSW has seen major change in the building and construction industry since 2019, including the Residential Apartment Building Act, the Design and Building Practitioners Act and Regulation.

Last August the NSW Government released for consultation some wide-ranging reforms that aim to ensure people can own, occupy and use more compliant, safe and resilient buildings. Engineers Australia made several submissions to this consultation.

The proposed fire safety reforms were passed by the NSW government in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Regulation 2022 (the Fire Safety Regulation 2022) and were published on the NSW legislation website in December 2022.

After the initial change for fire safety practitioners on 1 August 2023, there will be one additional step: From February 2025 (or 18 months after an accreditation scheme is approved, whichever occurs first), persons who certify installed fire safety measures before a fire safety certificate is issued must be accredited. 

Also, engineers maintaining essential fire safety measures in class 1b-9 buildings must do so in accordance with procedures in the Australian Standard 1851-2012 routine service of fire protection systems and equipment, where the maintenance activity is addressed by the standard.

Engineers Australia said it is committed to its ongoing work in building reform and helping to shape the regulatory landscape of the industry and to that end we continue to work closely with the NSW government  

Engineers Australia added that it supports the efforts of the New South Wales Government to reform the building industry in NSW and to implement the recommendations of the Building Confidence Report.

To find out more about fire safety regulation reforms see the New South Wales Government Fair trading website.

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