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Many buildings throughout Sydney and its surrounds are over 40 years old and lack essential fire safety equipment, which in the event of an emergency, may result in death and or property damage. In these instances your local council may perform a site inspection and issue a mandatory fire upgrade order.

A fire order is issued because the building is deemed unsafe regarding its fire safety. Owners and your acting strata body are notified and a required completion date is issued. Council fire orders should not be undertaken by the strata manager or owner, but by a qualified fire protection company who can provide certification. This ensures all work is covered by insurance and all aspects of the order are completed. Council fire orders must be completed in 6 months from the date on which the order was served.

Potential reasons for issuing a council fire order can include:

  • Local councils records indicate that there is a current essential fire safety schedule for the building
  • To ensure levels of fire safety are provided to the occupants of the building
  • An inspection of the building has revealed the current fire safety measures are not adequate
  • To ensure that adequate provisions are made within the building for fire safety.

Failure to comply with a council fire order is an offence and can render you liable to a maximum penalty of $1.1 million. This can extend to a further daily penalty of $110,000

What does a Council Fire Order generally consist off?

Please note this is a general guideline from our experience. Your order may differ so please always refer to the fire order issued by your local council

  1. Provide a -/60/30 (fire rating level) fire door set with a self-closing device to the front entry of each sole occupancy units in accordance with clause C3.11 of the Building Code of Australia.
  2. Provide a -/60/30 (fire rating level) fire door set with a self-closing device to all doorways that open into a required exit in accordance with clause C3.11 of the Building Code of Australia
  3. Provide a smoke alarm system complying with Clause 3 of specification E2.2a of the Building Code of Australia, or a smoke detection system complying with Clause 4 of specification E2.2a of the Building Code of Australia or a combination of a smoke alarm system complying with Clause 3 within the sole occupancy units and a smoke detection system complying with Clause 4 in areas not within the sole occupancy units.

A smoke alarm system complying with Clause 3 of specification E2.2a of the Building Code of Australia is required to be installed in accordance with the following requirements:

  • a) Smoke alarms are required to comply with the Australian Standard AS3786.  They are required to be powered from mains power (240v) and provided with a battery backup (9v).
  • b) In kitchens and other areas where the use of the area is likely to result in smoke alarms causing spurious signals, heat alarms may be installed in lieu of smoke alarms.
  • c) Smoke alarms must be installed within sole occupancy units located on or near the ceiling: any storey containing bedrooms, located between each part of the sole occupancy unit containing bedrooms and the remainder of the sole occupancy unit and where bedrooms are served by a hallway, located in that hallway and any storey not containing any bedrooms located in an egress path. Also in a building not protected with a sprinkler system, smoke alarms are to be provided in public corridors and other internal public spaces, located in accordance with the requirements for smoke detectors in Australian Standard AS1670.1 and the smoke alarms must be interconnected to activate a building occupant warning system in accordance with Clause 6 of specification E2.2a.
  1. Provide certification from a qualified person to the effect that the ceilings throughout the top floor level of the building (including stairway and corridor/s) are provided with material having a resistance level to the spread of fire in the to the roof space above, of not less than 60 minutes and have not been compromised by penetrations such as down lights or ventilation openings. Alternatively provide certification that the walls separating the units and stairwell extend to the underside of the roof covering
  2. Provide an exit signs in accordance with BCA Clause E4.7
  3. Provide an emergency lighting system to the common stairway and corridor/s in accordance with clauses E4.2 and E4.4 of the BCA and Australian Standard AS2293.1-2005.
  4. Provide fire extinguishers throughout the building in accordance of Clause E1.6 of the BCA and Australian Standard AS2444-2001
  5. A single and complete fire safety Fire Safety Certificate must be submitted to council upon completion of the works, in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, which includes all of the fire safety measures contained in the building and the fire safety schedule.
  6. A copy of the fire safety certificate must be displayed in the building.


How can FireSafe assist with you council fire order:

FireSafe has extensive experience in reviewing council fire orders, implementing the required solution and conduct all works required to complete the fire order.

Once a fire order has been completed, FireSafe will issue a final certificate which needs to be submitted to the your local council and from that date, 6 monthly and annual fire inspections according to the Australian Standards AS1851-2012 will be required. Body Corporates who do not submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement stating that the essential fire safety measures have been inspected and tested according to the Standards are at most risk of receiving a council fire order.

If you have received a fire order FireSafe is able to inspect, quote and complete the works required that will meet compliance with your local council.

Council Fire Orders in in Sydney – We’re the Experts

FireSafe is an expert provider of commercial, industrial and high-rise residential fire protection, inspection, installation, and maintenance and certification services. We offer an extensive range of scheduled testing as well as inspection services that are compliant with AS1851-2012 and the Building Code of Australia. We also provide fire equipment registers and reports that assist in the compilation of the Annual Fire Safety Statement specifically for building owners. These comprehensive documents form a crucial component of the compliance process for every property owner, with the BCA (Building Code of Australia), the OH&S Act as well as the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 2000.

For a free fire safety and audit inspection, call FireSafe at 1300 347 372. You can also send us your queries via this online form.