Flat Chat Strata Forum Common Property Current Page

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  • #60373
    Fired-up
    Flatchatter

    We are a 25+ year old building of fewer than 20 units, in very good repair, and have had 6 monthly fire safety inspections every year.

    Our latest fire report is requiring  us to spend at least $17,000 on upgrading our fire safety standards to comply with the latest legislation.

    Are there any exemptions for buildings of this age? Surely we could never comply with the standards required now for Class 2 buildings.

    We are concerned that fire safety companies are making significant profits at the expense of older buildings. Are we being ripped off?

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  • #60425
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    There have been cases cited in these pages of new Fire Safety Inspection companies demanding an expensive upgrade of buildings, especially new ones that they have recently taken over.

    This can be for a number of reasons, most of them valid.

    One would be that the fire safety measures in the building were out of date due to changes in legislation.

    Another would be that they want to get everything right before they take over the contract.

    A third would be that they want to provide a Rolls Royce solution to a Toyota Corolla  problem because they can make more money that way.

    The authorities are unlikely to allow you any leeway, regardless of the age of the building. They are simply concerned with fire safety, irrespective of the cost.

    However, you can ask the inspectors to itemise what in the building is no longer compliant and under which aspect of changes in the law.

    It may be that requiring them to justify each of their charges rather than impose a one-size-fits-all solution could save you a lot.

    #61044
    sbauer
    Flatchatter

    In general Australian Standards and fire legislation is not retrospective, therefor the latest Standards do not apply. A building and the fire safety installation within the building need to comply with the Australian Standard applicable on the day of approval. These installation may require to be updated when significant renovations take place, however this would be part of a building approval.

    #61970
    JT
    Flatchatter

    Generally, fire safety measures are to comply with the standards that were in force when the DA for the building was stamped by the local council.

    In NSW, recent legislation requires a “competent fire safety practitioner” (CFSP) of the class “fire safety assessor” (FSA) to certify that the measures comply with the relevant standards & BCA clauses on the Annual Fire Safety Statement (or fire safety certificate for new or recently updated buildings.

    Prior to the new regs, some fire protection companies would just sign off on the AFSS & not bother with some defects, as there were no penalties for doing so.

    If a FSA signs off & it doesn’t comply, they can lose their accreditation & as a result, the FSAs are finding & documenting defects that could have been there since the building was built.

     

    JT (CFSP/FSA)

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Flat Chat Strata Forum Common Property Current Page