Changes to the Building Fire Safety Regulations from 13/02/2025

Fire Safety Upgrade
Fire Safety Upgrade

The NSW Government have mandated changes to the Fire Safety Regulations for effect in February 2025. The full document is available here.

For property owners and managers, the main changes to consider is that there are routine testing requirements across multiple asset groups that require baseline data (read more here) to be collated for the building and/or additional testing regimes to be undertaken.

Examples (by no means is the below a comprehensive list) of this:

  • Passive fire register for penetrations/dampers at the site which forms a list of items that the maintenance contractor should verify (where practicable) on a routine basis to ensure that the firestopping is maintained year on year. Typically these registers are not present and the penetrations are not sufficiently fire stopped, our recommendation to owners is to proactively obtain quotes for passive registers and inform themselves of the situation within their building.
    Request a Fee for Valen to Manage this process here
  • Hydrant Landing Valves – Overhaul required after 5 years – due to labour rates in Australia this eventuates in replacement in lieu of overhaul which can be a significant cost for large sites. Most buildings have never had this work completed so would be up for this cost.
  • Sprinklers – For older buildings head testing is required after an extended period of time which requires that a sample of heads are removed and replaced and sent off to a lab to be tested. As long as they pass the test the others can remain for a further duration, if they fail then you are up for replacement works etc.

Other changes that are not scope related to the buildings are such as below:

  • Opportunity to amend Fire Safety Schedule/Measures on AFSS – Word of Warning: get your reasoning right as otherwise council may inspect themselves and issue a fire order for subsequent changes required.
  • For new buildings and large projects under CDC and DA there are additional design and certification requirements for works. This is typically positive as it means 100% design up front plus independent sign off, which is best practice. FRNSW are also now a mandatory stakeholder for all performance solutions which can add an extra couple of weeks to the design approval phase.

Fire Safety Upgrades

Note that where extensive works are required to achieve fire safety upgrades at a property there are alternative methodologies such as obtaining a voluntary fire order which alleviates some processes and costs – not applicable or recommended in every scenario but highly recommended where onerous upgrade requirements are called for as there is more flexibility in a Fire Safety Upgrade compared to a DtS Building Upgrade under CDC or DA.

Contact Us for Further Information

If you have any questions about this or would like advice on how to proactively manage your property ensuring compliance while minimising the impact to the owners and residents, reach out via the contact form.