Updated Fire Safety Certifier Contract Information Sheet


27 Dec 2020


The mandatory information sheets for fire engineer certification contracts in NSW have been updated. The sheets now include a note where legislation requires a certifier's fees to be paid upfront. This applies to all Registered certifier-fire safety (previously C10 Fire Engineer) contracts.


Download updated information sheets


Tags: Fire Safety Certifiers, Fire Engineer South Coast, Fire Engineer Western Sydney, Fire Engineer Contracts, Registered certifier-fire safety NSW (previously C10 Fire Engineer) , Fire Engineer North Coast, Fire Engineer Campbelltown




Certifiers Practice Standard (CPS) - Fire Engineering Works


27 Dec 2020


Under the Building Commissioner's Construct NSW reforms, the Certifiers Practice Standard (CPS) has been created to establish clear expectations for the certifier industry.

The CPS sets out the approach to be followed when undertaking certification work as public officials for residential apartment buildings. The CPS applies to all Registered certifier-fire safety (previously C10 Fire Engineer) in NSW as well.

It is important to note that combustible cladding cannot be considered "deemed to satisfy" when applying the concession, and that building fire safety should be assessed on individual building characteristics by a Registered Fire Safety Engineer


Read CPS... Read Practice standard Manual ...


Tags: Certifiers Practice Standard, CPS, C10 Fire Engineer NSW, C10 Fire Engineer Blue Mountains, Construct NSW Reforms, Registered certifier-fire safety NSW (previously C10 Fire Engineer)




Timber Framing Concessions for Class 2 and 3 Buildings


23 Dec 2020


The VBA Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has developed a Practice Note for timber framing concessions for Class 2 and 3 buildings under the Building Code of Australia (BCA)

The Practice Note addresses:

  • the interpretation of the concession contained in BCA Specification C1., Clauses 3.10 and 4.3;

  • the importance of the preconditions associated with the concession;

  • considerations when assessing the danger to life or property of existing buildings that may have used the concession; and

  • the VBA's approach to discipline involving misinterpretation of the concession

It is important to note that combustible cladding cannot be considered "deemed to satisfy" when applying the concession, and that building fire safety should be assessed on individual building characteristics by a Registered Fire Safety Engineer


Read Article ...


Tags: Class 2 Fire Safety, Class 3 Fire Safety, Timber fire safety, C10 Fire Engineer Sutherland Shire, Timber performance based design, performance based fire safety, performance based consulting




Rendered Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Wall Systems


21 Dec 2020


In response to mixed opinions on the fire behaviour and risks associated with rendered expanded polystyrene (EPS) wall systems, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) engaged the CSIRO to undertake a literature review on the fire safety of exterior insulation finish systems and insulated sandwich panels as external wall systems.

The literature review identified, amongst other things, the lack of testing or other evidence for the façade fire spread performance of EPS as is typically installed in Australia for buildings of Type A and B construction. The VBA subsequently engaged a full-scale façade test of a rendered EPS wall system to better inform industry.

An Industry Update published on the VBA website summarises the test findings and confirms the understanding that fire can rapidly spread, and that EPS poses a similar risk to 100% PE core aluminium composite panels. The update provides a useful reference for Fire Engineers in NSW, TAS, QLD, NT, SA and WA


Read Article ...


Tags: EPS, Fire Engineer NSW, Polystyrene fire safety, CSIRO, VBA, Fire Engineer Albury, Fire Engineer Regional NSW




Disability Upgrades to Existing Public Train Stations and the Role of an Accredited C10 Fire Engineer Within


08 October 2020


By Joyce Van


The current Transport Access Program (TAP) is a NSW Government project to upgrade public train stations to meet the requirements of the federal Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (DSAPT). The Standards set out the minimum requirements for accessibility on public transport and ensure that people with disability have appropriate access to those public transport services.


Read Article ...




Security Considerations for the NSW Rail Infrastructure Network


08 October 2020


By Zachariah Reisch


As NSW becomes more interconnected and densely populated, its needs for transport infrastructure will continue to grow. With numerous road, rail and airport projects being funded in the coming years, many are concerned with the cost, efficacy, or political buying-power of such undertakings. Amidst the storms around these projects lies an issue often overlooked - with an exponentially complex transportation system being developed over the coming years, how should their designers and operators best approach the issue of security?


Read Article ...




Safety of Innovative Vehicles in Tunnels


08 October 2020


By Fathi Tarada of Mosen Global


Vehicle technology is evolving quickly, with autonomous cars now a reality, and with an increasing proportion of hybrid and electric vehicles on the road. Such innovation can bring many advantages in the management of traffic flow and the reduction of emissions. However, innovative vehicles can present significant risks to road users, particularly in tunnels. A good understanding of the sources of these risks, and how to mitigate them is essential for manufacturers, designers, tunnel owners and operators, as well as for the fire service.


Read Article ...





Please view this video by invoking full-screen [ ] icon on the video

VIDEO | The Security Legal Framework in NSW


08 October 2020


By Original Article & scripting by Dr Maher Magrabi, Design by Irfan Khan, Voiceover by Zachariah Reisch


As a part of Lote's ongoing commitment to the dissemination of information that makes our industry smarter and safer, we have developed a new informational video regarding the legal framework of security in NSW. This short video provides an understanding of the requirements for those providing security services and is useful for anyone who engages with security consultants, or indeed security consultants themselves who may be unclear about licensing requirements and the risks of operating without the appropriate accreditations.


Original Article ...




Designed features can make cities safer, but getting it wrong can be plain frightening


06 September 2020


Through the effective implementation of security and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles, designers and planners make a variety of spaces safer and more accessible to their communities.

However, in some instances, implementation of security measures can go too far. 'Unfriendly architecture', designed to dissuade activities such as 'rough sleeping' or youth congregation can often be overused and create cold, uninviting spaces that alienate groups such as the homeless or young.

This article examines the phenomenon of security in public spaces and cases of its overuse.


Learn More ...




Fire Performance of Rendered External Walls and Cladding: Advisory note 2020.2.2


04 September 2020


For a building of Type A or B construction, C1.9(a)(i) specifies that elements of external walls, including their components, must be non-combustible. Components of external walls include:

  • Facade covering (e.g. render and external cladding)
  • Framing
  • Insulation

The impact of the above clause on render and textured paint is discussed further by the ABCB Advisory Note. when used as part of a DTS Solution for an external wall of a Type A or Type B building must be non-combustible.


Learn More ...


View Advisory Note ...




Cyber-crime during the Covid-19 Pandemic


04 September 2020


Due to the high demand for medical supplies and information globally as a result of COVID-19, many negative practices such as fraud and counterfeiting are drastically increasing.

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this state of affairs to conduct activities including masquerading as legitimate donation sites to receive donations, sending fake medicine or medical supplies, and undermining sources of legitimate information.

INUCRI's Regional Coordinator Adil Radoini provides an ideal introductory video on the state of cybercrime during the pandemic, and what individuals and businesses should be aware of during this period.


Learn More ...




NSW Security Industry Act 1997 & Security Industry Regulation 2016 Reminder


01 September 2020


With reference to the NSW Security Industry Act 1997 and the Security Industry Regulation 2016, a reminder that accepting security 'consultation' from an unlicensed practitioner not only makes the advice offered unreliable but can also have major legal ramifications.

CPTED and Security Risk Assessment Reports (or the like) must be prepared by a Licensed Practitioner. A Licensed Security Consultant is required to hold a Class 2A Security License, and their organisation requires a Master Security License.

Use of an unlicensed 'consultant' in lieu of an accredited one carries a maximum penalty of AUD 11,000 for a Corporation (Security Industry Regulation 2016), and also voids any Professional Indemnity cover.


Learn More ...




NCC 2019 Amendment 1 is now in effect!


20 August 2020


Adopted on July 1, 2020, the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Amendment 1 now has legal effect in each state and territory.

Major amendments include Performance Solutions, Fire Safety Verification Methods, aluminium composite panels, childhood centres, timber framing, anti-ponding boards. The next version of the NCC is scheduled to be adopted in 2022.


Learn More ...




Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) DBP Act


17 August 2020


The recently enacted Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) (DBP Act) and the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (NSW) (RAB Act) impose significant reforms for the construction industry.

The two Acts form part of the NSW Government's response to the Shergold-Weir the Building Confidence Report and the recent building defects identified at Opal Towers, Mascot Towers and the Sugar-cube Apartments.

Among the main conclusions of the Building Confidence Report was that the accountability of different parties involved in the construction process was unclear and there were insufficient controls on the accuracy of documentation, which made it difficult to ascertain whether the building complied with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).


Learn More ...


Out of interest please see this related information on Greenway Chambers website

Click Here ...




National Registration Framework for Building Practitioners


16 August 2020


The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) released a discussion paper on a draft National Registration Framework (NRF) intended for Building Practitioners. The discussion paper is open for public comment until August the 23rd.

Following an assessment of compliance and enforcement systems in the Australian construction industry authorized by the Building Minister's Forum (BMF), the resultant Building Confidence Report (BCR) made 24 recommendations to address the identified shortcomings in implementing the standards of the National Construction Code (NCC).


Learn More ...




The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) is Now Mandatory in NSW


15 August 2020


As of July 1, 2020, FPA Australia has been approved by the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service as an accreditation authority for those under section 59 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018.

FPAS practitioners who perform 'regulated work' under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EPAR) are now recognised.

With the exception of C8 (electrical engineers) or C14 (hydraulic certifier - buildings) holders, practitioners will require an accreditation number to perform these roles


Learn More ...




Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) is now mandatory in NSW


02 July 2020


The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) has now been formally approved under section 59 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018. To learn more, see the following article by FPA Australia.


Read More ...




NCC 2019 Amendment 1 is now in effect


01 July 2020


From today, 1 July 2020, the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Amendment 1 has been adopted. To read about the key changes and learn more, see the following article by ABCB.


Read More ...




Fire Safety and Security imperatives in light of the new Aged Care Quality Standards


01 July 2020: Article by Zachariah Reisch


The past few months have seen an already teetering Australian aged care industry go from bad to worse as many RACFs were the site of deadly outbreaks - and given the negligence turned up in light of these outbreaks, it appears regulatory bodies have a long way to go before the industry is at an acceptable standard. This article explores the current state of Australian aged care in July 2020 and outlines a path forward that allows construction industry specialists to benefit from the work in this sector while also healing its broken core in the process.


Read More ...




Fire Brigade Intervention Model Manual


30 June 2020


With the Fire Safety Verification Method coming into effect 1 May 2020, the Fire Brigade Intervention Model (FBIM) is now referenced in the National Construction Code. The model ensures the safety of building occupants, including firefighters who enter the building in response to a fire.

AFAC has updated its Fire Brigade Intervention Model Manual to reflect these changes. The manual supports the consideration of firefighter intervention into building design.


AFAC FIBM Manual V3 ... ... AFAC_FBIM Dataset_2020.05 ...




Fire Safety in Data Centres


27 June 2020: Article by Christopher Koch


The reliance on cloud-based data storage and increasing demand for supplying energy from alternative sources has seen a dramatic increase in the use of Lithium-Ion battery based Energy Storage Systems (ESS). One common application for ESS are data centres to help cater for the increased demand for cloud-based data storage. One of the fundamental requirements of a cloud-based data centre is business continuity via zero downtime requirements. ESS are mandatory, to provide continuous data centre operation during a power outage. Lithium-Ion based ESS are prone to thermal runaway leading to the production of flammable gases and subsequent uncontrollable combustion. The additional ESS fire risks are not readily covered by the Deemed-to-Satisfy (DtS) provisions of the Building Code of Australia (BCA), Furthermore, ESS trigger the application of BCA Clause E1.10 - Provision for Special Hazards which prescribes that additional provision must be made if special problems of fighting fire could arise because of the nature or quantity of materials stored, displayed or used in a building or on the allotment; or the location of the building in relation to a water supply for fire-fighting purposes.


Read More ...




Securing a Data Centre: Why a Specialist Security Approach is a Project Imperative


26 June 2020: Article by Dr.Maher Magrabi


Data centre security can be defined as the operational practices and technologies that are employed to safeguard the data centre from external threats and vulnerabilities. The growth of Cloud Computing, Software as a Service, and Platforms as a Service has driven the growth of physical data centres. Being a physical asset, on-shore data centres are also a critical component in national infrastructure. Data centres are the physical facility that houses Information Technology (IT) infrastructure comprising computing, storage, networking, and power resources. As these data centres store sensitive and/or proprietary information that may include customer data and valuable intellectual property, cyber and physical security is paramount to its operation. This article will focus on the physical elements of data centre security.


Read More ...




New Duty of Care could Affect your Liability


23 June 2020


If you carry out construction work in NSW you need to be aware of new laws that could affect your liability for defective building work.


Read More ...




Adoption of AS 4859.1:2018 ahead of Transition Deadline


20 June 2020


Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone areas: AS3959:2018 Amdt 2, Draft for Comment.


Read More ...




Adoption of AS 4859.1:2018 ahead of Transition Deadline


15 June 2020


The NCC 2019 adopted Technical Specification FPA101D ? the design for a residential sprinkler system as a deemed to satisfy solution to provide sprinkler protection to Class 2 or 3 buildings with an effective height of not more than 25m and a rise in storeys of four or more. Sydney Water has announcement its acceptance of FPAA101D.


Read More ...




Adoption of AS 4859.1:2018 ahead of Transition Deadline


13 June 2020


The old insulation standard AS 4859.1:2002 has been replaced with the updated standard AS 4859.1:2018 since the 1st May 2020 transition deadline. The updated standard includes amendments to the way in which rigid foam insulation is aged tested and statistically averaged, the outcome of which is typically a derating of most insulations' R-Value, depending on the thickness, type and chemical composition of the insulation in question.


Read More ...




NSW Government delivers Historic Building Reforms to restore Industry Confidence


10 June 2020


The NSW Government has delivered on its promise to restore public confidence in the building industry by successfully passing the Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019.


Read More ...




AAC Member alert: Passage of Design and Building Practitioners Bill


08 June 2020


The NSW Parliament passed the Design and Building Practitioners Bill.

The Bill requires any design, principal design or building practitioner who intends on making a compliance declaration to be registered under a new registration scheme.

This is a win for consumers, a win for every building practitioner who wants their industry cleaned up and a win for our advocacy efforts.


Read More ...




Registration of Engineers: NSW Parliament passed the Design and Building Practitioners Bill


03 June 2020


The NSW Parliament passed the Design and Building Practitioners Bill, introducing registration for engineers to commence on 1 July 2021.

The new Bill (which will become an Act upon assent by the Governor) introduces a requirement for professional engineers to be registered to practise without supervision. It will initially apply to five areas of practise: civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and fire safety engineering (more areas of practise can be added through regulation). Although the registration requirements are contained within a law for 'building practitioners', they will apply to engineers working in any sector.

The next step is for the Regulations that support the Act to be developed. Engineers Australia expects that process to begin in the coming months. Members will be encouraged to support Engineers Australia in this process so please look out for communications from Engineers Australia over the rest of 2020.


Press Release by EA-CEO




NCC 2019 Amendment 1 Proposed Changes Update


01 June 2020


The ABCB will include the definition of building complexity and the process for documenting Performance Solutions in NCC 2019 Amendment 1.






CPTED Strategies to Maximize the Security of Critical Infrastructure


29 May 2020


In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, there has been a long-standing crime problem. However, the neighborhood of Asa Branca is succeeding in maintaining a peaceful community, free of police interventions. The community has come together to create a community using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Thus far, the program, championed by community members themselves, has been a success in an otherwise risky environment.


Read more of this article...




Permanent Formwork: Expired Sunset provisions from NCC 2016 and implications for your project


27 May 2020


When a permanent formwork system is filled with concrete, the formwork material remains and acts as a permanent lining to the wall. The lining material varies between different types of systems but typically consists of either a polymer (such as Dincel) or fibre-cement. When used in a building these linings must comply with the 'Wall and ceiling linings' section of the National Construction Code (NCC), which can be found under specification C1.10. In editions of the NCC prior to 2016, compliance of a wall/ceiling lining material could be determined by either testing in accordance with AS ISO 9705 or AS/NZS 3837 (i.e. two alternative and equal procedures were allowed). However, since 2016 a new standard, AS 5637.1, is required to be complied with by the NCC instead.


Read more of this article by Dincel. ...




Wayfinding Monitored Addressable Emergency Lighting System


15 May 2020


Efficient evacuation in an emergency can be constrained by the complex nature of the buildings and the occupants within.

Although emergency signage systems are widely used as a well-established means of facilitating evacuation, research demonstrates that only 38% of people 'see' conventional static emergency signage in simulated emergency situations. Besides, conventional signage only conveys single and passive information; therefore, they cannot be adapted to respond to developing evacuation situations and events.


Read more of this article by Hochiki Australia...




Threat Update: COVID-19 Malicious Cyber Activity


20 Apr 2020


This update by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is designed to raise awareness of increasing COVID-19 themed malicious cyber activity and provide practical cyber security advice that organisations and individuals can follow to reduce the risk of being impacted.


Read More..




Fire Safety & Security services in the NSW Building Industry: Legal context and application


20 Apr 2020


The planning system in New South Wales (NSW) includes building regulation and certification. A key part of this is sustainable development and ensuring that buildings are safe and meet all the performance expectations, both at the time of construction and throughout their effective life cycle.


Read More..



Building and Construction Industry: Minimising the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19


18 Apr 2020


The number of workers on a construction project can vary significantly between projects and from day to day. Where workers work closely together it increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. You must therefore do everything that is reasonably practicable to keep workers a safe physical distance apart of at least 1.5 metres while they are onsite. Check out this publication from Safe Work Australia (SWA) for a more comprehensive list of measures.


Read More..



Preparing for a Pandemic: Review Business Continuity Plans Amid Coronavirus Outbreak


18 Apr 2020


Organizations worldwide have been reacting to the recent coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, in a variety of ways, from restricting nonessential employee travel to cancelling large events. The possibility of a pandemic has the potential to disrupt workforces, supply chains and economic activity in the months ahead. So, it is with a sense of urgency that prudent organizations review and update their business continuity plans to insure their operational resiliency. To learn more, see this article by the Risk Management Monitor.


Read More..



Working from Home Checklist


18 Apr 2020


Has your business transitioned into a 'working from home' model? Be sure to check out the following checklist of considerations for short-term working from home arrangements by Comcare. Please note, the following considerations should be seen as minimum requirements only. Employers may have more detailed working from home guidance in their organisations that should be used in conjunction with this checklist.


Read More..



GLACIAL PROGRESS: Minister Under Fire Over Flammable Cladding Crisis


24 Mar 2020


NSW Cabinet is still considering how the state should handle the flammable cladding crisis more than six months after receiving advice from the building commissioner, leading to accusations the government is making "glacial progress" to fix serious risks.


Read More..



FPAA101D and FPAA101H Systems Demystified


24 Mar 2020


One of the most substantive changes in the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Volume One was the introduction of mandatory sprinklers requirements for Class 2 & 3 buildings that has a rise in storey of 4 storey or more with an effective height of not more than 25m.This Housing Industry Association (HIA) information sheet provides an overview of the changes including the offsets and the new sprinkler standards.


Read More..



New Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) Regulations in NSW


24 Mar 2020


The NSW Government has introduced reforms to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation which introduced enhanced requirements relating to fire safety in existing buildings. Part of this was the introduction of Competent Fire Safety Practitioner (CFSP) accreditation. Over the past few years there has been a transition to accreditation of CFSP and this will now come into effect 6th April 2020.

Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPAA):

Click here..


Association of Accredited Certifiers (AAC)-Competant Fire Safety Practioner Information:

Click here..



Building Code of Australia Out of Cycle Amendment


24 Mar 2020


The Building Code of Australia is being amended out of cycle, with BCA 2019 Amendment 1 expected to be implemented in mid-2020. The preview of the amended NCC is expected to be available this month. Key amendments to the BCA are proposed as follows:

  • Additional provisions relating the early childhood centres in high-rise building
  • Introduction of a defined term for 'building complexity'. The implication of the building complexity term is still to be released, however it is anticipated that additional requirements will be put in place for buildings of a higher complexity level.
  • Clarification of concessions for low rise Class 2 and 3 buildings
  • Adoption of a Technical Specification relating to the permanent labelling to ACP's

In addition, the ABCB is looking to mandate the method of development of performance solutions, which is currently documented in their document 'Development of Performance Solutions'. This is currently open for public comment, and the provisions surrounding this will not be finalised in the preview issued this month


To review the ABCB's Development of Performance Solutions

Click here..



Building and Development Certifiers Act and Regulation


24 Mar 2020


The Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 and Regulation 2020 have been finalised and will come into effect on the 1st of July 2020. This legislation will replace the Building Professionals Act and Regulation currently in force. Items covered by the legislation include accreditation of certifiers, requirements for insurance and conflict of interest provisions.

For people considered as 'competent fire safety practitioners' under previous legislation, they will continue to be considered as a competent fire safety practitioner for as long as they previously would have been recognised under previous legislation up to 5 years.

This legislation also contains accreditation provisions for professionals undertaking regulated work.

The new Act and Regulations can be viewed here:


For the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018

Click here to view the Act..


Building and Development Certifiers Legislation 2020

Click here to view the Act ..



FRNSW Position Statement Security/screen doors on sole-occupancy units (SOUs)


10 Mar 2020


Security/screen doors fitted to sole-occupancy units (SOUs): The fitting of security or screen doors to the main fire door of a unit is a matter to be determined by the appropriate regulatory authority (e.g. Council) or certifier.

However, FRNSW recommends against the fitting of security or screen doors to SOUs due to the increased likelihood of the main fire door of the unit being propped open, corridor egress being impeded by an open security/screen door, and the fire rating of the door frame being compromised from any modification when fitting any additional security or screen door.


Click on Link below to read more:





FRNSW Position Statement Fixed Suction for below ground Water Supply


10 Mar 2020


FRNSW have published a new Position Statement for fixed suction for below ground water supply.

The design of any fixed suction provided for a fire brigade pumping appliance to draught from a below ground water supply is to satisfy Clause 4.4 of Australian Standard AS 2419.1-2017. The maximum length of dry pipe between lowest section water level and large bore suction connection is not to exceed 2.8 m due to the limitations of the primer on the fire brigade pumping appliance.

Note: The primer is used during draughting operations to remove air from the fixed suction pipework and semi rigid suction hose that is connected to the large bore suction connection.


Click on Link below to read more:





FRNSW Position Statement External Combustible Cladding


09 Mar 2020


Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) will consider cladding risk assessment principles when being asked to provide advice in respect of buildings that have external combustible cladding ("Cladding").


Refer to FRNSW Position Statement on External Combustible Cladding (in the URL below) for further information.


Check the New Guidelines



FRNSW Guideline Fire Hydrant Concessions for Existing Buildings


09 Mar 2020


Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has recently published the Guidelines for Fire hydrant concessions for existing buildings for consent authorities (i.e. Councils) issuing Development Control Orders on existing buildings.


Click the link below to learn more:


Check the New Guidelines



Aged Care Quality Standards (ACQS) - What does this mean for Fire Safety and Security?


08 Mar 2020


The 2019 Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has sadly told an unflattering tale; an excerpt from the media release on 31st October 2019 labels the state of the service as "a shocking tale of neglect", and states that the sector "does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care, is unkind and uncaring towards older people and, in too many instances, it neglects them".


Click the link below to learn more:


Check Full Article



SFS Submission for the BCA 2022 Fire Safety Performance Requirements


08 Mar 2020


The Building Code of Australia (BCA) has been an evolving document since first introduced as a performance-based code in 1996. Over a number of years, the BCA Deemed-to-Satisfy (DtS) Provisions have continually changed, and changes to the BCA Performance Requirements have also occurred. As part of the latter changes, the Engineers Australia Society Fire Safety (SFS) has been tasked with the goal to quantify or set a clear, measurable level of performance for the BCA. To achieve this goal, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has given direction for National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 that the BCA Performance Requirements are to be quantified.


Read the report to see their findings on the quantification of the performance requirements:


Check Full Article



IEAust SFS Fire Safety Verification Methods Report


07 Mar 2020


Engineers Australia has published a report evaluating the Fire Safety Verification Method (FSVM) which will become a formal part of the NCC in May 2020. The FSVM is starting to be required by government agencies at an increasing rate, and thus is likely to have significant impact on the way fire engineering is practiced.


Check out this report which thoroughly investigates the FSVM and associated handbook to identify the benefits and disbenefits of employing this approach:


Check Full Article



FRNSW Guideline Fire Safety in Waste Facilities


05 Mar 2020


Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has recently published a revision to the Fire Safety in Waste Facilities: Version 02.02 to incorporate minor changes from the updated Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 references.



Check Full Article



False fire alarms cost taxpayers $100 million a year


01 Mar 2020


False alarms cost more than $100 million last year because 97 per cent of calls made to firefighters by NSW automatic alarm systems are mistakes triggered by non-emergencies such as burnt toast and steam.


Two links provided below will give you more information:


Check Full Article Check URL



New Guidelines - Occupation Certificates and Written Direction Notices - NSW


04 Jan 2020


As 1 December 2019, new provisions in Part 6 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A) have commenced including new provisions for Occupation Certificates (OC) and Written Directions Notices (Directions). This includes the removal of the term "interim OC" from the EP&A Act.


Two links provided below will give you more information:


New Guidelines Part-6 Provisions



Challenges to Law Enforcement when dealing with Cybercrime - Dr Maher Magrabi


02 Jan 2020


Governments across the world are struggling to keep up with the growing threat of cybercrime and the evolving techniques used by its practitioners. The Australian law enforcement in particular, is struggling to respond to the transnational nature of cybercrime, the evolution of technologies in encryption and the widespread distribution of computing and cloud computing.


Check out this article which details these issues and proposes a way forward by clicking link below:


Click here



Approved bushfire bunkers?


02 Jan 2020


Every year Australians are surprised by the ferocity of bushfires and shattered when their properties are destroyed. We need to plan appropriately for living in bushfire-prone areas because, as the current crisis demonstrates, they are only becoming more devastating.

Property protection measures should include mandatory installation of rooftop sprinkler systems, use of fire-resistant housing materials, appropriate housing design and more rigorous management of the local combustible environment.


Could approved bushfire bunkers be a solution?


Read More >



ABCB survey on Performance Solutions


15 Sep 2019


If you are involved in the development or assessment of Performance Solutions, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), invites you to complete a short survey to provide your views on this topic. The survey closes 11:59pm Thursday, 26 September 2019


To Complete the Survey here:


Click here



NSW Government Cladding Support Taskforce


14 Sep 2019


To ensure that fire safety and cladding issues are prioritized and adequately addressed, The NSW Government has established a Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce.


This taskforce is led by the Department of Finance, Service and Innovation and includes representatives from NSW Fair Trading, the Data Analytics Centre, the Department of Planning and Environment, Fire and Rescue NSW, the Office of Local Government, Treasury and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.


The Taskforce will provide expertise on fire safety and building codes and streamline information between Councils and State Governments. The Taskforce will ensure assessments are performed to a superior level and work the council to ensure this is achieved.


The NSW Government Publication, Guide for the Assessment of Buildings with Combustible Cladding assists authorities and Councils to determine factors required to consider in an assessment and the level of complexity of each building. assessment tools and methodologies links are also detailed.


For Guide for the Assessment of Buildings with Combustible Cladding


Click here


Available Resources include:

Taskforce fact sheet

Taskforce Terms of Reference



QBCC Fire Engineering Statement for Combustible Cladding


10 Sep 2019


QBCC Safer Buildings Publish New Form Fire Engineering Statement for Combustible Cladding.


To Learn More


Click here



AS 1530.4:2014 NCC Update


01 Sep 2019


Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) has recently published a new Information Bulletin (IB-17) regarding the change to the reference of Australian Standard AS 1530.4:2014 in Volume One of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019.


This Information Bulletin provides information and guidance on the relevant evidence of suitability required by NCC 2019 and the indicated change in required evidence of suitability from 1 May 2022 as a result of the change to this note


To Learn More


Click here



The Society of Fire Safety (SFS) is Celebrating Its 25th anniversary


19 Aug 2019


To commemorate this milestone, SFS is hosting a full day Seminar at Engineers Australia's Melbourne office followed by a Celebration Dinner.


The Seminar will showcase presentations themed as "SFS 25 Years On - Where is Fire Safety Engineering in Australia Heading ?"


For Further Details


Click here






15 Aug 2019


Recent press coverage has shown the limited understanding of the statutory role and responsibilities of NSW Accredited Certifiers. Read more about the common myths surrounding building certification in NSW


Click here for complete article




ABCB Advisory Note on Timber Framing and Non-Combustible Materials


22 July 2019


A new Advisory Note for Class 2 and 3 buildings: Concessions for use of timber framing and/or non-combustible materials has been released.


It explains the intent of the concession in Specification C1.1, Clauses 3.10 (a) and 4.3 (a) of NCC Volume One. The concessions apply to residential apartment buildings (Class 2) and residential parts of hotels, motels, boarding houses and the like (Class 3), typically with a height between 2 and 4 storeys. Single dwellings (Class 1) regardless of their height, and a number of Class 2 or Class 3 buildings of 2 storeys in height, are not subject to the non-combustibility requirements and therefore the concessions are not relevant to these buildings.


Click here for complete ABCB Advisory Note




World-First Program to Tackle High-Risk Cladding


16 July 2019


The Victorian Government will establish a world-first program to tackle high-risk cladding involving a $600 million package to fix buildings with combustible façade cladding.


The grants will fund rectification works on hundreds of buildings, found to have high-risk cladding, ensure safety and compliance with relevant building regulations.


Click here for more details




New Fire Safety Engineering Research Calls for Major Overhaul


01 July 2019


New research from the Warren Centre recommends fire safety design and verification methods should be clearly defined, with neither process interfering with the other.


The research, Fire Safety Engineering: The Methods Report, makes several recommendations, including:

  • Revising the Fire Safety Verification Methods so they respect the independence of the design process and adequately verify that Performance Requirements are met.
  • Updating the International Fire Safety Engineering Guidelines and phasing out previous editions; and
  • Clarifying the purpose of Practice Guides to ensure they are compatible with existing articles of reference.


Click here to Learn More






17 March 2019




New DTS Provisions for fire sprinkler systems, for apartment buildings and other residential buildings (i.e. Class 2 and 3 buildings) 4 storeys and above and up to 25 metres in effective height (generally those buildings 4 to 8 storeys).




New DTS Provisions clarifying requirements for occupiable outdoor areas, such as roof-top bars and cinemas.




A new, non-mandatory VM for fire safety introduced (NCC Schedule 7). This VM can be used for developing a Performance Solution for up to 24 Performance Requirements. Its adoption will be delayed until 1 May 2020 to allow time for training and support.


Please contact Lote Consulting for further information on how these changes will impact on your project.


Contact Lote for more info





17 March 2019


New laws require building owners to register certain buildings with combustible cladding with the NSW Government. The FAQs provides more guidance to Building Owners.


Learn More


On the background to the NSW Cladding Regulation here


Read More



Damage from a fire at the Neo200 apartment building on Spencer St in Melbourne (Ref: MFB)

A more Cost Effective Way to address Existing ACP Cladding


12 March 2019


Dr Nguyen from the Fire and Façade Group at RMIT says there's a cheaper way that's just as safe: introduce vertical firebreaks.


Read More





10 March 2019


FPA Australia in collaboration with the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition will be hosting a national seminar series in April on the new requirements for residential sprinklers in the National Construction Code 2019. The seminar will cover new automatic fire sprinkler Technical Specifications referenced in NCC 2019, FPAA101D and FPAA101H, the relevant Deemed to Satisfy Provisions, and the background to the new residential sprinkler requirements.


Learn More



Association of Accredited Certifiers launches 8-point plan for NSW Building Reform


01 March 2019


The 8-point plan to reform building in NSW from the Association of Accredited Certifiers (AAC) calls on the next NSW Government to implement these vital reforms in its first 100 days in office.


Learn More



NSW Government recognises FPAS Accreditation Scheme


27 February 2019


The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) will be formally recognised in NSW after a phase-in period of approximately 12 months. After this time the NSW Government will recognise as 'Competent Fire Safety Practitioners (CFSP) individuals who hold the appropriate class of FPAS accreditation.


Read More



New Education Campaign on the Role of the Certifier
Private and Council Accredited Certifiers - Ensuring your Safety


05 December 2018


The AAC has embarked on education campaign "Private and Council Accredited Certifiers - Ensuring your Safety" to inform the community about the important work Accredited Certifiers do in the community.


Accredited Certifiers support the development of housing and other building projects in NSW.


To commence building work or to subdivide land you are generally required by law to obtain approvals. Accredited Certifiers are responsible for issuing these approvals and ensuring safety.

An Accredited Certifier:

  • can only be appointed by the owner of the property
  • is not responsible for the quality of the building work
  • must be paid upfront so they can't be pressured to issue approvals or certificates prematurely
  • assesses the plans and specifications and if correct, issues the Construction Certificate where necessary
  • ensures the work is proceeding according to the approval documentation through government mandated inspections

An Accredited Certifier does not:

  • have input in the Development Consent issued by the Council
  • attend the site at all times
  • supervise the building work for or on behalf of the owner or builder
  • act as a clerk of works on the project or administer the building contract

Private and Council Accredited Certifiers are a vital part of the NSW economy.


Click Here to to find out more about Accredited Certifiers .

Click Here to to find out about the NSW certification system .



Combustible Cladding Reform Update


05 December 2018


Following the tragic fire at the Grenfell Tower in London in 2017 and the fire at the Lacrosse Building in Melbourne in 2014, new laws have been made for buildings with combustible cladding. These laws are part of a whole-of-government response to the potential fire safety risks posed by combustible cladding.


The new regulation with came into effect from 22-October-2018 are:

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Identification of Buildings with Combustible Cladding) Regulation 2018: Click here to View/Download

State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Exempt Development - Cladding and Decorative Work) 2018:
Click here to View/Download


Under the regulation, owners of certain buildings with external combustible cladding are required to register their building with the NSW Government through a simple, user-friendly online portal.


There are also new provisions in the regulation that require the referral of certain Alternative Solutions or Performance Solutions under the Building Code of Australiainvolving external combustible cladding to be referred to Fire and Rescue NSW.


The NSW Government has also amended eight State Environmental Planning Policies concerning the approval process for new cladding, re-cladding and decorative work on buildings.



What to expect from NCC 2019


04 December 2018


The ABCB recently gave consideration to the content of the 2019 edition of the NCC. Some of the key changes from the 2016 edition can be viewed at:


Click Here.



Industry news

R U OK Day - Thursday 13 September 2018


02 September 2018


Next Thursday is R U OK Day. This inspirational initiative seeks to inspire and empower us to meaningfully connect with others and support anyone struggling with life.


With eight Australians dying every day from suicide, it is a topic we must confront. Research shows the risk of suicide increases when someone feels isolated and believes they are a burden on others. We can be part of a culture that values meaningful connections with others. An R U OK Day toolkit focused on the workplace is available here.



New website for QLD cladding legislation


02 September 2018


The Queensland Government has launched a new 'Safer Buildings' website for building owners on the state's new mandatory combustible cladding checklist at https://www.saferbuildings.qld.gov.au


The new Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018, which comes into effect on 1 October 2018, applies to buildings that are:


  • Are class 2-9;
  • Are of a type A or B construction; and
  • Are built, or have had the cladding altered, after 1 January 1994 but before 1 October 2018.


The site allows owners to register and begin the three-stage process to identify buildings in the state with potentially combustible cladding. The process requires a preliminary risk checklist, followed by an 'industry professional statement' for at-risk buildings, and finally requiring a building fire safety risk assessment by a fire engineer



NCC taskforce proposed at BMF-industry meeting


02 September 2018


The COAG Building Ministers' Forum (BMF) meeting earlier in August included an Industry Forum of peak industry bodies and professional association representatives from the building and construction sector, of which Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) was one.


During the Industry Forum, the representatives shared their views on the recommendations of the Shergold-Weir report, Building Confidence - Improving the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building & construction industry across Australia. There was a consistent theme to responses, demonstrating a united resolve by industry to assist governments in implementing the Shergold-Weir recommendations.


The industry presented a combined proposal to the BMF on how to address the next steps following the report's recommendations, including regular meetings between industry and the BMF, and critically the establishment of a new taskforce between government and industry to oversee nationally-consistent regulatory reforms.


The proposed taskforce is intended to draw together government and industry to manage the development of a model administrative code for the National Construction Code (NCC) to harmonise requirements and compliance with the NCC across all states and territories wherever possible. Nationally-consistent implementation is critical to the success of the Shergold-Weir report's recommendations.




NSW Ban on Aluminium Composite Panels (ACPs)


23 August 2018


From 15 August 2018 ACPs with a core comprised of more than 30 per cent polyethylene (PE) by mass are banned in NSW for use as external cladding in Type A construction (as defined in the Building Code of Australia) and Type B construction (as defined in the Building Code of Australia). There are two exceptions to the ban, which involved testing in accordance the relevant Australian Standards and that the proponent of the use of the product makes a Statutory Declaration in relation to their installation. (CLICK HERE )




Fire hydrant system in existing premises


14 August 2018


FRNSW recommends any fire hydrant system installed in accordance with the provisions of Ordinance 70 and Ministerial Specification 10 (or earlier) should be upgraded to meet the requirements of the current Australian Standard AS 2419.1 for an equivalent new building, as these older fire hydrant systems no longer meet the operational needs of FRNSW. (CLICK HERE )




Building Product Compliance and Cladding Update


14 August 2018


Consult Australia has prepared a briefing document on the new laws across the jurisdictions on non-conforming building products (including cladding). The most recent change is in Queensland where from 1 October 2018 owners of private buildings will have to complete an online checklist. Where a building is considered to be affected by combustible cladding, the private building owner will then be required to obtain a Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment and a Fire Engineer Statement by 3 May 2021, in addition to displaying a notice on the building. (CLICK HERE to view. )




An update from the Victorian Cladding Audit team


22 July 2018


The VBA has recently contacted more than 700 builders, developers, surveyors and owners to request information on newly-commenced and upcoming projects, as well as the possible use of combustible cladding in these developments.

Several buildings already under construction have been inspected. These pre-occupancy inspections ensure Minister's Guideline MG-14 is followed. (CLICK HERE ) for MG-14 Guideline.




PI Insurance situation worsens as exclusions for cladding and non-compliant products become standard


14 July 2018


An increasing number of Professional Indemnity insurers have been excluding services involving building cladding and non-conforming products (definition unclear). For More information: (CLICK HERE).




Australian Insurance Market Update - Aluminum Cladding


14 July 2018


Recent multi-level building fires in Australia and overseas have resulted in Federal and State governments inquiring into the potential exposure for buildings in relation to non-conforming and non-compliant building products. Governments are particularly focused on the potential exposure caused by inappropriate use of some types of aluminium composite panels (ACPs) and other combustible façade materials. For More information: (CLICK HERE).




Fire Safety Engineering: An Inquiry into the Issue


04 July 2018


The delivery of major infrastructure and buildings requires detailed planning, design and construction. Robust but efficient approval procedures are vital to ensure safety. The process necessitates that all parties involved in the development understand and are appropriately qualified to deliver. This is particularly true for fire safety engineering.

The Warren Centre recognises that there is a much bigger issue to be considered that speaks to the core of fire safety engineering and is undertaking an independent review into fire safety engineering. Click here to read more and get involvedFor More information: (CLICK HERE).




A landmark report that is likely to have a big impact on building safety and compliance was made public by the Building Ministers' Forum in April 2018.


02 July 2018


Titled Building Confidence - Improving the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the building and construction industry across Australia, the report by Professor Peter Shergold and Ms Bronwyn Weir was commissioned last year by the BMF. The BMF directed Shergold and Weir to examine a range of issues outlined in comprehensive terms of reference for their work.


The Building Ministers Forum (BMF) has met to discuss an independent report that has recommendations to improve building safety and compliance.


Each of the state and territory Building Ministers gathered in Melbourne to review 24 recommendations on how to improve our building regulations nationally.


The report was written by Professor Peter Shergold and Ms Bronwyn Weir, who examined the building regulatory systems across the jurisdictions.


The 24 recommendations cover a range of issues - from registration and training of practitioners, to the role of fire authorities in building design and the approvals process.


Minister for Small and Family business, the Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy said: "The Shergold and Weir report provides the BMF with a comprehensive package of recommendations to establish a national best practice model for compliance and enforcement.


The building industry has been calling for greater coordination between all levels of government on reform. Safety is our top priority when it comes to building regulation, and our compliance and enforcement systems need to be very robust.


"It is important that we do not lose momentum in progressing this work. I look forward to hearing how jurisdictions will incorporate these recommendations into their efforts to improve compliance."


For a summary of the recommendations: CLICK HERE and for complete report: CLICK HERE




Expert lists litany of serious safety breaches at Grenfell Tower


04 June 2018


Five expert reports into the fire, its spread and the regulatory environment, were published alongside Millett's opening remarks. Jose Torero, academic and fire safety expert, came to a damning conclusion about the building regulation system, stating that "systems that introduce obvious dangers can be incorporated by designers in a routine manner." For More information: (CLICK HERE).




Victoria's Building Regulations have changed


02 June 2018


The Victorian Building Regulations 2018 commenced on 2 June 2018 marking a change from the previous Building Regulations 2006 and the Building Interim Regulations 2017. More information about the Building Regulations 2018, including practice notes and fact sheets, can be foundon their website (CLICK HERE).




New NSW EP&A Act commences


14 April 2018


Updates to the New South Wales Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 came into effect on 1 March 2018. The NSW Government has prepared several resources for certifiers relating to the changes:

  • Guide to the updated Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979: CLICK HERE
  • Quick reference guide: old vs new sections of the EP&A Act: CLICK HERE
  • Summary of the biggest changes for certifiers: CLICK HERE




NCC 2019 regulation impact statement consultation


14 April 2018


To determine the likely costs and benefits of changes included in the National Construction Code 2019, which was released as a draft for public comment recently, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has undertaken regulation impact analysis. The ABCB is now looking for feedback on Consultation Regulation Impact Statements:

  • Accessible adult change facilities in public buildings;
  • Fire safety in Class 2 and Class 3 residential buildings;
  • Heating and cooling load limits for residential buildings; and
  • Energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

You can read the statements and give feedback at the ABCB website here





Government rejects call to ban PE cladding import & use


14 April 2018


The Australian Government has rejected a recommendation to ban the importation, sale and use of combustible cladding made by the Senate inquiry into non-conforming building products, determining such a ban would be neither effective nor practical.

The recommendation was one of eight made by an interim report on aluminium composite cladding released in September 2017 by the Senate Economics References Committee's inquiry. The report's recommendations aimed to address the fire risk posed by the non-compliant use of polyethylene core aluminium composite panels (PE-ACPs).

Difficulty in identification of PE-ACPs, legitimate uses of the material, domestic manufacturing, international trade obligations and costs to industry would make a total ban on PE-ACPs ineffective and impractical, the Government response determined.





New Annual Fire Safety Statement form


10 April 2018


NSW Government has provided FAQs relating to the Annual Fire Statements - please refer to the below and follow links for further information.

Annual Fire Safety Statements Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Following the introduction of the Amending Regulation, we have received numerous enquiries about the new Annual Fire Safety Statement form.

To assist building owners and practitioners, the Department has released a set of FAQs





Explosions heard as fire breaks out at Circular Quay construction site


13 March 2018


A major fire has broken out at a construction site in Circular Quay, billowing smoke into the CBD.



The attached FSM journal article on Fire Safety during Construction by Lote Principal Dr Amer Magrabi provides a framework for an interim fire strategy for partially occupied buildings





Victorian Cladding Audit - Building product safety alert


13 March 2018


The Victorian Building Authority is warning building practitioners on the risks associated with the non-compliant use of aluminium composite panels and expanded polystyrene. This alert coincides with the release of new ministerial guidelines that ban the use of both aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core of 30% or more, and expanded polystyrene, on multi-storey buildings.





NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 adopted


13 March 2018


From 12 March 2018, the NCC 2016 Volume One Amendment 1 has been adopted by States and Territories.