Routine Service of Essential Fire Safety Measures

By Michael Barnes, Director – Credwell Fire & Risk

Building Owners or Owners Corporations would be aware the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Regulation 2021 requires Essential Fire Safety Measures (EFSM’s) to be maintained so they continue to perform to a standard no less than that listed in the Fire Safety Schedule.

Unlike many other states, NSW Regulations do not nominate how the EFSM’s are to be maintained (I.e., to an Australian Standard), only that they are maintained.

This often creates confusion for Building Owners and Owners Corporations regarding what is an adequate level of maintenance.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Regulation 2021 will be further amended on 13 February 2025 to require building owners to:

    1. Maintain their EFSM’s in accordance with either:
      1. The requirements of a performance solution approved for building (if the solution nominates a level of maintenance; or
      2. Australian Standard AS 1851-2012; and
    2. Keep the records required by the performance solution or AS 1851-2012 on-site at the building for at least seven (7) years; and
    3. Make the records available for inspection by the Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) or the local Council.

Under the amendments to the Regulation, FRNSW and the local Council will have the power to impose fines of up to $66,000 for not maintaining EFSM’s and up to $33,000 for not keeping the records on-site and making them available to FRNSW and Council.

Whilst legislating a level of maintenance is a step in the right direction, AS 1851-2012 does not cover all EFSM’s (e.g., exit signs, emergency lights, emergency lifts and fire control rooms Etc.). These measures will still need to be maintained to the standard of performance specified in the schedule through maintenance processes.

So why should I be worried about this now when the amendment doesn’t come into effect for another two years you ask?

The commencement of the amendments has been intentionally delayed so Building Owners or Owners Corporations can review their existing maintenance contracts and ensure they modify them accordingly prior to the amendments to the Regulations coming into effect.

Credwell is always here to help with your fire safety schedule requirements

We can help by

  • Conducting assessments of :your existing maintenance contracts and site records against the incoming requirements;
  • Preparing specifications for the inspection, testing, servicing, assessment, and certification of EFSM’s; and
  • Providing independent oversight of contractor maintenance programs

To discover more about flexibility and options in building safety compliance please contact Credwell at 02 9281 8555 or