If you’re a little unclear about where the responsibilities lie for fire safety under NSW law, you’re not alone.

At Betta Fire Protection, our mission is to keep people, property and precious assets safe by making sure everyone knows their rights and responsibilities for safeguarding them against fire hazards.

Let’s begin by busting one of the most common myths that we hear: “the property owner isn’t always responsible.”

Very often building owners and strata managers (residential property managers) are unaware who is responsible when signing off on fire safety compliance documents.

Building owners MAY think the responsibility lies with the agent, but that’s NOT actually the case. More often than not, if there is a fire, the building owner carries full legal (and moral) responsibility for ensuring all people within the building, and the building itself, are protected adequately and fully compliant with the law.

Conversely, the agent MAY think responsibility lies with the Competent Fire Safety Practitioner (CFSP) – this is the person who signs off on or ‘endorses’ the Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS), but this is not true either.

As you can see, it can become quite a cycle of confusion and disparity, but ultimately, the building owner is the one who carries full responsibility. Although, there are some very easy steps they can take to reduce their exposure to liability.

Needless to say, it is in the building owner’s best interests to ensure that the agent they have chosen is managing their property correctly. It’s the agent’s job to ensure that a fully accredited fire protection company has been appointed to install and routinely check the working order and safety of all fire protection mechanisms in the building.

By law, if the agent or building owner appoints a fire protection company to inspect, test and check their fire safety equipment, their Annual Fire Safety Statement can only be endorsed by a fully accredited CFSP.

But like any industry, there are plenty of sub-optimal operators, some of whom may not have accredited CFSPs signing off on essential fire safety measures, making the AFSS non-compliant and putting the building owner in a sticky position should something go awry.

Fortunately, this can be easily prevented by ensuring that a fully accredited CFSP has been appointed to endorse the fire safety equipment in order to stay compliant.

For agents wishing to protect the interests of their landlords, or building owners looking to protect their own interests, Betta Fire Protection is the smartest choice.

As one of the most reputable companies in the industry, Betta Fire Protection offers compliance that you can trust. Our team of CFSPs are all accredited fire safety assessors.

Here’s a quick guide to the roles and responsibilities of each party:

Roles and Responsibilities of Building Owners, Agents and CFSPs

Building owner Agent CFSP
Under NSW legislation, who has the ultimate responsibility to maintain the essential fire safety measures for their building? Yes No No
Who can nominate an agent to represent the building owner, primarily in regard to administrative responsibilities? Yes No No
Who can pass all responsibility to maintain the EFSM to the Agent or CFSP? No No No
Who can select which contractors are appointed, including selecting the CFSP? Yes Yes* No
Who bears responsibility for ensuring a contractor is an accredited CFSP, where required? (Through a combination of asking for accreditation numbers or prior experience.) Yes Yes* No
Who can approve the allocation of funds to carry out works? Yes Yes* No
Who must be assessed by the FPAA and have relevant accreditation numbers? No No Yes
Who can carry out work on the EFSM following the relevant Australian Standards? No No Yes
Who can endorse the EFSM on the Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS), found in sections 4, 5 & 6? No No Yes
Who can fill out and sign sections 7, 8 & 9 of the AFSS? Yes Yes* No

*where the Building Owner has approved to do so.

If you’re looking for an accredited CFSP in NSW to inspect your property’s fire safety equipment, contact Betta Fire Protection today. For compliance you can trust, call now on (02) 8669 9100.