Fire safety compliance

The NSW Government requires that both new and existing buildings be certified for fire safety.

Existing building

Step 1.Get the essential fire safety measures schedule

Legislation sets out fire safety measures you need to take, like installing exit signs and hose reels for example, to ensure the safety of people using a building in the event of fire.

The Essential Fire Safety Measures Schedule lists the measures and sets out the required minimum standard of performance for each.

The City of Coffs Harbour, or another accredited certifier (with a Construction Certificate or Complying Development Certificate), can issue you with a schedule.

You should get an up-to-date schedule whenever a building is:

  • new  
  • altered, or
  • given consent for a change in its use 

Request Current Essential Fire Safety Measures Schedule

Step 2.Have an annual inspection and assessment

Only an Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) (APSS) accredited by the Fire Protection Association Australia can complete the annual inspection and assessment.

You can select anyone from the register of accredited practitioners via the FPAA website

Step 3.Submit the Annual Fire Safety Statement

Generally your accredited inspector will obtain the standard template of the Annual Fire Safety Statement and, once they have filled in their sections, give it to you to fill in any remaining, required sections. The Statement contains information to help building owners fill it in.

If your inspector doesn't provide you with the statement, you can find the NSW Government’s Template form - Fire safety statement at the Planning NSW Fire Safety website.

When to submit

The Annual Fire Safety Statement must be submitted:

  • within 3 months of the inspection and assessment being done, and
  • by the due date - 12 months after the date issued (Section 8) on the previous Annual Fire Safety Statement. Note this date can change from year to year.

Statements that don't meet the required timeframes will be rejected and may incur a penalty infringement notice or fees. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act sets out the late fee penalties:

  • 1 week late: $1,000
  • 2 weeks late: $2,000
  • 3 weeks late: $3,000
  • 4 weeks late: $4,000

How to submit

Submit the Annual Fire Safety Statement to:

Step 4.Display in your building

In a prominent location in your building you need to display:

  • the Annual Fire Safety Statement, and
  • the Essential Fire Safety Measures Schedule. 


Should we conduct an inspection and find that the premises does not have adequate provision to prevent or suppress fire, we may issue a Fire Safety Order under Order 6, Section 121 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.  The requirements are relevant to Class 1b to 9 classification of building structures.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act sets out the penalties for not complying with the fire safety provisions. These are:

Not displaying copy of final Fire Safety Certificate

  • Individual $1,500
  • Corporation $3,000

Not displaying Annual Fire Safety Statement

  • Individual $580
  • Corporation $580

Failing to maintain essential fire safety measures

  • Individual $3,000
  • Corporation $6,000

New building or change to building

A fire safety certificate is a certificate issued by, or on behalf of the owner(s) upon completion of new building work, changed use of a building or fire safety upgrade works. 

Any development that requires a fire safety schedule, requires submission of a fire safety certificate before an Occupation Certificate can be issued.

The certificate confirms that each of the fire safety measures that apply to a building (as listed in the fire safety schedule) have been installed and checked by a properly qualified person. This helps verify that the required fire safety measures can perform to the minimum standard.

Fire safety certificates must be prepared and issued using the NSW Government’s standard form template, available from Planning NSW Fire Safety website

An interim fire safety certificate covers each essential fire safety measure specified in the fire safety schedule for the part of the building to which the certificate relates (i.e. part occupation of a building).

A final fire safety certificate covers each essential fire safety measure specified in the fire safety schedule for the completed building. 

Find more information about building and planning