Why do you need a Competent Fire Safety Practitioner?

A Competent Fire Safety Practitioner is an essential component for modern fire safety compliance. Moreover, this relatively new role was created due to crucial reforms to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017. Ultimately, the motivation for these reforms was a series of dreadful tragedies. These include the Bankstown apartment fire (2012) and the subsequent Coronial Inquest. Also, Melbourne’s Lacrosse Tower fire (2014). And lastly, London’s Grenfell Tower fire (2017).

Competent Fire Safety Practitioner

The EPA Act Amendment provides considerable improvements to fire safety standards. Not least, the recognition for industry accreditation schemes for Competent Fire Safety Practitioners. Consequently, this means unsafe practices and non-compliant building materials are no longer available to builders and building managers. Furthermore, Australian Building Codes have been toughened up regarding fire safety. Importantly, Annual Fire Safety Statements and Final Fire Safety Certificates must now only be completed by an Accredited Competent Fire Safety Practitioner. These reforms apply to residential and commercial buildings.

What are the Reforms?

The regulation reforms aim to prevent unsafe building products from being used potentially dangerously. Consequently, this involves a number of reforms. These include the accreditation of new practitioners, an inspection of all existing buildings of concern, the creation of government task forces for coordination, and the creation of enhanced safety standards. The complete 10-point reform can be found on the NSW government website.

The Role of the Competent Fire Safety Practitioner

The EPA has created this new role. From 2017, it replaces the term ‘properly qualified person’. Interestingly, this previous term was never fully defined. However, the new position will be supported by industry accreditation and defined tasks. Consequently, tasks such as regular fire safety assessments and inspections will be carried out by appropriately skilled and qualified personnel. So, as outlined by the EP&A, the requirements of the new role, amongst other things, will be:

  • Approving relevant fire safety systems
  • Compiling fire safety alternative solution reports
  • Completing annual fire safety statement assessments of buildings

To ensure your building is compliant and safe, talk to our team at Harbour Fire and Security about an inspection by a Competent Fire Safety Practitioner today.

Tags: annual fire safety statement, competent fire safety practitioner, fire safety inspection, fire safety systems
Why do you need a Competent Fire Safety Practitioner

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