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Initial fire safety report

The certifying authority is required to request an initial fire safety report (IFSR) from Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) and consider any conditions prior to issuing a construction certificate (CC) for building works that include an alternative solution.

When the certifying authority receives an application for CC, where the building works involve an alternative solution that meets any performance requirement of any Category 2 fire safety provision, the certifying authority is required under clause 144(2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EP&A Reg.) to refer a copy of the application for CC and its plans and specifications to FRNSW. The fire engineering report (FER) is considered part of the specifications.

Note: FRNSW use the term ‘alternative solution’ as per the EP&A Reg. instead of ‘performance solution’ as used within the National Construction Code.

The certifying authority should use the initial fire safety report application form. FRNSW will notify the certifying authority within 10 days if an IFSR will be provided or not. If being provided, FRNSW will provide the IFSR to the certifying authority within 28 days after the document receipt date.

Note: The EP&A Reg. was amended on 2 October 2015 to give the Fire Commissioner discretion to provide an IFSR or not. FRNSW prioritise all applications and assess those that present greater risks and impacts to the community with consideration of available internal resources.

If the fire safety engineer responsible for the FER has undertaken consultation with FRNSW, the Alternative solution summary table should be completed and attached to the IFSR application.

An IFSR will not be provided if the application for CC has already been determined by the certifying authority. Any change in design after a CC has been issued will require the CC to be modified or a new CC issued for the changed plans and specifications, which includes attaching any new or revised FER to the fire safety schedule. Clause 148 of the EP&A Reg. requires any modification of CC to be assessed the same way as the initial CC (i.e. the application referred to FRNSW for an IFSR).

The Declaration of updated fire engineering report can be used by the certifying authority to advise FRNSW of any FER that has been updated as a result of incorporating FRNSW recommendations from a furnished IFSR. This form can also be used to notify FRNSW of minor editorial changes to the FER that has no impact on the alternative solution.

Note: FRNSW has no role in receiving or managing updated FERs on projects. However, FRNSW does expect the FER version applicable to the completed 'as-built' building works to be same the version attached to the fire safety schedule, and as referenced by the applicable CC or declaration. Click here on using the declaration of updated FER form.

Situation What you should do
An application for CC is received for building works to which clause 144 of the EP&A Reg. is applicable
  • Submit the completed IFSR application form (see form below).
  • Attach all relevant documentation as per clause 144(2) of the EP&A Reg. (i.e. copy of application for CC, building plans and specifications, relevant FER).
  • Agree to pay the charge for an IFSR to be furnished.
The application for CC has been amended prior to the IFSR being furnished by FRNSW (i.e. the plans and specs have been amended prior to the CC being issued)
  • Withdraw the request for IFSR application (by email).
  • Resubmit the completed IFSR application form with the amended information and documents.
  • Agree to pay the charge for the IFSR to be furnished when you resubmit.
The IFSR is not being furnished by FRNSW
  • The certifying authority must assess the alternative solution when determining the application for CC for approval or refusal.
  • No FRNSW charge will apply.
The IFSR has been furnished by FRNSW
  • The certifying authority must take into consideration the IFSR and any conditions FRNSW recommends be imposed.
  • The certifying authority must advise in writing of any conditions not being adopted.
  • The certifying authority must assess the alternative solution when determining the application for CC for approval or refusal.
  • The FRNSW charge for furnishing the IFSR must be paid.
The development to which an issued CC relates is being modified (i.e. applying to modify CC with new or revised plans and specifications)
  • Submit the completed IFSR application form for the modification of CC.
  • Attach all relevant documentation for the modified development (i.e. copy of application for CC, revised building plans and specifications, relevant FER).
  • FRNSW will assess the new or modified alternative solution in the updated FER, particularly with any increase in risk.
  • Agree to pay the charge for a new IFSR (i.e. for the modified development)
The FER has been updated to include FRNSW conditions from the IFSR
  • Submit the completed Declaration of updated fire engineering report (see form below).
  • Provide details on which conditions have not been adopted and give reasons why.
  • Attach the updated FER version with the declaration form.
An updated FER has been received from the fire safety engineer
  • Determine if the updates constitute a change in design that requires the existing CC be modified or a new CC be issued. Are changes to the plans and specifications submitted to the consent authority, when the CC was issued, required?
  • If the updated FER does not incorporate any change in design, the Declaration of updated fire engineering report should be completed to declare that the FER changes do not affect the alternative solution.

Forms

Initial fire safety report application  (MS Word, 266 kb dotm)

Alternative solution summary table  (MS Word, 251 kb dotm)

Declaration of updated fire engineering report (MS Word, 236 kb dotm)

What do I get?

The certifying authority will receive an IFSR which is to be used when determining the application for CC being applied for. The IFSR identifies whether FRNSW is satisfied that the alternative solution will meet the performance requirements it intends to meet, hydrants are accessible, and couplings are compatible with FRNSW. The IFSR may also recommend conditions to be imposed. 

Costs

The charge applicable to furnish an IFSR comprises a charge based on the estimated cost of development (as per approved development application) and $180 for the assessment of each applicable Category 2 fire safety provision.

Est. Cost of Development Charge
Up to $250,000 $500
$250,001-$500,000 $500, plus an additional $0.40 for each $1,000 (or part of $1,000) by which the estimated cost exceeds $250,000
$500,001-$1,000,000 $600, plus an additional $0.30 for each $1,000 (or part of $1,000) by which the estimated cost exceeds $500,000
$1,000,001-$10,000,000 $750, plus an additional $0.20 for each $1,000 (or part of $1,000) by which the estimated cost exceeds $1,000,000
More than $10,000,000 $2,550, plus an additional $0.10 for each $1,000 (or part of $1,000) by which the estimated cost exceeds $10,000,000

For a full description of the charges applicable including terms, payment options, applying for a waiver or reduction of the charges, please refer to the fees & charges for services page.

Further information

Initial fire safety report process technical information sheet  (Adobe, 992 kb pdf)

About FRNSW forms

Submitting plans and specifications to FRNSW

Using the Alternative solution summary table

Using the Declaration of updated fire engineering report