Does my building require an Annual Fire Safety Statement?
If you are a building owner or manager, it’s better to be sure. We can generally tell you for free!
Fill out the “Free Site Visit, Quote” form here on our website, email or phone us and in 99% of cases, we can tell you for free. If we don’t have enough info to answer whether you need an AFSS via email or phone, we also do a free site visit and quote, so you’ll know how much the Annual Fire Safety Statement will cost.
What are the fines if my Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) is late?
In NSW, it is an offence to fail to submit a valid statement. Significant weekly penalties apply:
- 1 week late $1,000
- 2 weeks late an additional $2,000
- 3 weeks late an additional $3,000
- 4 and every subsequent week late an additional $4,000.
If you do not successfully submit a valid AFSS, this could lead to legal proceedings in the Land and Environment court. The current maximum penalty is $110,000. See the City of Sydney website to read their policies for yourself. Trust our industry knowledge. We suggest that you don’t rely on COVID-19 as an excuse.
How far ahead should I book my Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS)?
Our contracted clients have their AFSS submitted to council well on-time, every year to avoid the fines above. To have your AFSS submitted on time, the annual testing needs to start exactly 3 months before the due date. At 2020 Fire Protection, we will have your accredited practitioner booked months in advance and it’s best to have the same person do it each year, so they become familiar with your building.
We plan months in advance, to ensure that no-matter what, we have time up our sleeve to do your inspection, complete repairs, re-inspect if required, and issue your AFSS on time.
Can I get extra time to submit my AFSS?
We are often called by new clients when they realise that someone has dropped the ball. This is often one of the first questions they ask.
Just because you have called a Fire Safety company and booked your AFSS, it does not mean that you will avoid a fine. Urgent email communication with Council is strongly recommended. The sooner a request is made to Council, the better your chance of an extension. The City of Sydney is very tough on this, as the protection of lives is their priority.
In our experience, Councils can be tough, but they will listen. With penalties of up to $110,000 possible, it pays to ensure that things are handled professionally to avoid these sorts of headaches.
Can I be fined if I did not know?
Yes. Fire Safety is the building owner’s responsibility. The endorsement of an AFSS by anyone that is not currently accredited as a Competent Fire Safety Practitioner – could be a key reason for penalties being issued. Council or the Courts could deem your statement as invalid and therefore late.
Please note that the Fire Safety Company that has been doing your AFSS for years may from 1ST July 2020 no longer be accredited. The industry and NSW Government has raised the bar to kick the cowboys out. There are now over 30 separate accreditations that may be required for your Fire Safety Practitioner to endorse the measures on your AFSS, depending on how complex the systems are in your buildings.
How do I check if my AFSS is being done by someone accredited?
Assuming that someone is accredited is not a valid defence. We recommend checking the individual’s name (not the company) on the official Accreditation list found here. For example, search for Robert Broadhead and you can see our Managing Director is currently accredited.
Want less headaches? Click here or call 1300 340 210 for a free site visit and safety quote.