The DAC is required to establish a Building Fire Safety Committee as the relevant assessing authority for buildings in Out of Council Areas (these are generally remote areas of the state, such as parts of the Far North and some offshore islands).
The committee plays an important role in protecting the ongoing safety of building occupiers and users through the provisions of the Development Act 1993.
Section 71 of the Development Act establishes the power for the relevant authority to investigate whether building owners are maintaining proper levels of fire safety in their buildings for the protection of all occupiers, whether they are residents and workers who use them regularly, or clients and visitors who only use them occasionally.
An “authorised officer” can inspect existing buildings to check if the fire safety is adequate. If it is not, the Building Fire Safety Committee, as an “appropriate authority” under the Act, can take action to require the owner to upgrade the fire safety of the building to an appropriate level.
More about the role of the Building Fire Safety Committee
The Committee is responsible for:
- Developing appropriate building fire safety inspection policies
- Scrutinising the fire safety of buildings that have been identified as having inadequate fire safety provisions
- Issuing 'Notices of Fire Safety Defect' to building owners, which identify fire safety provisions that need to be upgraded to an extent that provides a reasonable level of safety for occupants.
- Forwarding information on Section 71 fire safety notices to council administration for Section 7 enquiries (made by a vendor when a building is available for sale or lease)
- Where appropriate, negotiating a cost effective performance solution with a building owner to reduce fire safety risks to an acceptable level
- Issuing 'Notices of Building Work Required', which schedule prescribed building work that must be carried out in order to raise the building fire safety to a reasonable level of safety
- Initiating enforcement or other action to ensure a building owner complies with a Notice of Building Work Required, and
- Revoking or varying fire safety notices when appropriate.
For further information please refer to the Guide to Council Building Fire Safety Committees
Alternatively contact DIT, Building Policy Branch on telephone 1800 752 664 (Select Option 2) or email email@example.com