Fire Safety NSW reforms have gone into effect as of January 2017. While these changes and amendments are relatively recent, other states may be falling slightly behind. NSW has introduced a range of improvements, according to the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA). In fact, FPA CEO Scott Williams has heralded NSW and its regulatory changes as a model to other Australian states to follow.
The Fire Safety Reforms
According to recent Fire Safety NSW reforms, there will be stringent requirements and criteria for people handling critical life-safe saving devices. This includes alarms, along with sprinklers and fire extinguishers. This, of course, will be mandated by Australia’s Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS).
Individuals must meet accreditation via the FPAS, while effectively displaying their competence in handling fire safety equipment at their respective establishments. This may include apartment complexes, sporting venues, schools, hospitals, and commercial offices. These new reforms prevent just anyone from accessing these items without prior training and experience.
Improved Documentation Protocols
The NSW reforms will also improve fire safety documentation and protocols. This includes plans for commercial properties, along with specifications and baseline data information. In addition, there will be more inspections to ensure buildings and offices are complying with the new reforms. This includes meeting all competency requirements — including specifications on who is allowed to handle certain fire safety activities.
The reforms have been welcomed by NSW but are still in pre-implementation stages across some part of the state. While Sydney is already on board and has seen significant improvements in fire safety — it should not take too long for other cities and towns — in and out of the state — to catch up.
The Importance of the Reforms
According to Mr. Williams, the fire safety NSW reforms are crucial to life safety across the board. It is also paramount to have effective operations that ensure all safety guidelines are being met. This includes equipment to put out small or extensive fires, along with alarms that will notify the fire department and volunteers immediately. This can mean all the difference between tragedy and escape –and as a result — those commissioned to handle these devices must be fully competent and trained in all safety areas.
Proactive Rather than Reactive Policy
NSW officials have incorporated these new safety measures before disasters strikes. Sadly, advances in fire safety only seem to occur after major disasters occur. For example: the Queensland Hostel Fire that took place in 2015 — where sadly — 15 people lost their lives. To prevent these tragedies from happening, fire safety officials and city governments have stepped up efforts to ensure all preventative measures are being strictly followed and adhered to.
Compliance Australia Wide with FCF
If you own a business in NSW and want to check if your building is 100% fire safety compliant, Check out our Fire Safety for Sydney page or contact FCF National today. If you live elsewhere in Australia, FCF can help ensure your business is fire safe. We adhere to best practices for fire safety and provide a high standard of compliance for your business where you are based in Australia. Contact FCF today.