Definition of an Annual Fire Safety Statement
Did you know that an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) is quite simply a statement that is:
Signed by the owner of a premises or their persons nominated on their behalf to state that:
- They have selected a Properly Qualified Person to conduct the assessment of installed fire safety measures on their premises.
- That the installed fire safety measures at their premises are being maintained to a standard not less than to that is was installed to.
- That he attests that he has not contravened Division 7 of the EP&A Regulation relating to Clauses 183, 184, 185 & 186 pertaining to exits, doors and paths of travel to an exit.
- Dated so that it has a limited period of validity of 12 months.
! An AFSS is not a statement of compliance nor is it a document that details faults, incorrect or non compliant installation of a Fire safety measure; quite simply it is a maintenance statement not a compliance statement.
! Remember: An AFSS is simply a document that attests to the maintenance of Statutory Fire Safety measures, nominate a properly qualified person and states the clauses in the EP&A Regulation have not been breached.
Obligations of a nominated Properly Qualified Person
As a nominated properly qualified person you are required to do the following:
- Prepare the Annual Fire Safety Statement by completing the details requested on the form. If you are not a nominated agent for the owner the owner must sign the statement, prominently display a copy in foyer or office and forward copies to Council and Fire & Rescue NSW.
- Whilst checking the installed fire safety measures compile a Building Compliance Report for the owner to inform them of any deficiencies you can identify. Remember, these are for the owner to consider but do not impact on the AFSS as they are not maintenance related. It should reflect anomalies or non compliant installations and may indicate that something has been done at the premises that has made a fire safety measures non compliant or non operational.
- Where you identify a fire safety measure that is non compliant but operational and works this is no reason to not sign off on the item if it is being maintained as required and can still do the job it was intended to do. For example; hydrants too close to wall or ground. These should be reported to the owner with a not to say they are matters that can be rectified over a period of time.
- Where you identify a fire safety measure that cannot be maintained, is faulty or does not work you must refer this to the owner, explain that it is not operational or able to be maintained and as your duty of care dictates you are duty bound to report the matter to FIRE & RESCUE NSW and or Council who will inspect and where warranted issue a fire order requiring the measure to be restored or rectified. These include but are not limited to; damaged hydrants, non working exit signs, faulty detection and suppression systems, EWIS systems and doors locks latching and egress blockages.
Fire Matrix can work together with the owners and can schedule over a period of time to rectify major issues which impact on essential services & fire life safety in buildings. Once again your AFSS can be signed off.