Change text size:   Increase font size   Reduce font size  |   Print page:   Print this page
  |   Contact us   
 
nosection
English

Fire safety and external wall cladding 

Recent building fires have drawn attention to fire safety risks in residential mid and high-rise buildings. This includes the 2017 Grenfell fire in London and the 2014 Lacrosse fire in Melbourne.

Investigations in to the Melbourne fire revealed that the external wall cladding was made of aluminium composite panels. The cladding and the way it was used contributed to the rapid spread and intensity of the fire which raised concerns about the non-compliant use of external wall cladding.

The NSW Government has been working on specific measures to address the fire safety risks associated with external wall cladding and has developed and began implementing a co-ordinated, whole of government policy response.

What is the NSW government doing to address the issue?
Information for strata managing agents, building managers, property managers or maintenance managers
Engaging a fire safety professional
Information for real estate agents

What is the NSW government doing to address the issue? 

An inter-agency Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce (the Taskforce) has been established and comprehensive reforms are being undertaken to strengthen the protections in place for fire safety in residential buildings.

The Taskforce have sent letters to the tenants and owners of potentially at risk buildings advising them to contact their real estate agent, landlord, strata managing agent, building manager, property manager or maintenance manager and ask for all documents relating to the design and construction of the building to be reviewed to determine whether external wall cladding made of aluminium composite panels was used. Read below for more information on how you should respond.

More information on the Taskforce’s priorities is contained in the factsheet (PDF size: 202kb)

Top of page

Information for strata managing agents, building managers, property managers or maintenance managers 

Strata managing agents, building managers, property managers or maintenance managers currently managing multi-story residential buildings should check if the building they are responsible for has external wall cladding made of aluminium composite panels and that the fire safety measures in the building are appropriate and effective.

You should do the following:

  • Review all design and construction documents to determine whether external wall cladding made of aluminium composite panels was used on the building.
  • Check that the annual fire safety statement for the building is up-to-date and all fire safety maintenance measures have been addressed.
  • If aluminium composite panels have been used on the building engage a fire safety professional to:
    • review and inspect the cladding - including the suitability of the type of material used and installation method
    • check the overall fire safety of the building
    • provide an assessment of any steps required to maintain or improve the building’s fire safety.
  • Take immediate action to make any recommended changes to the building.

Visit the information for tenants and owners.

Top of page

Engaging a fire safety professional 

The following organisations can provide information about engaging suitable fire safety professionals and fire safety engineers:

Fire Protection Association Australia – ph 1300 731 922 – www.fpaa.com.au/provider
National Fire Industry Association – ph 07 3882 6924 – www.nfia.com.au
Engineers Australia – ph 1300 653 113 – www.engineersaustralia.org.au

Some fire safety services may also be able to be provided by building certifiers accredited in categories A1, A2, or C10. Details of accredited certifiers are available on the Building Professionals Board website www.bpb.nsw.gov.au.

It is important to remember that the presence of aluminium composite cladding on a building does not mean it is non-compliant or a safety hazard, the configuration and how it has been used will also be relevant.

Top of page

Information for real estate agents  

Real estate agents currently leasing apartments in multi-story residential buildings should ensure the buildings are safe by checking the external wall cladding. They should also ensure that appropriate fire safety measures are in place.

You should do the following:

  • Contact the relevant owner, strata managing agent, building manager, property manager or maintenance manager and ask them to:
  • review all design and construction documents to determine whether external wall cladding made of aluminium composite panels was used on your building. 
  • check that the annual fire safety statement for the building is up-to-date and all fire safety maintenance measures have been addressed.

If aluminium composite panels have been used on your building, ask the relevant owner, strata managing agent, building manager, property manager or maintenance manager to engage a fire safety professional to:

  • review and inspect the cladding - including the suitability of the type of material used and installation method
  • check the overall fire safety of the building
  • provide an assessment of any steps required to maintain or improve the building’s fire safety.

Check with the relevant owner, strata managing agent, building manager, property manager or maintenance manager whether changes to the building were recommended and if these have been actioned.

Visit the information for tenants and owners.

Top of page

Get a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader so you can access PDF versions of our information.