Fire safety and external wall cladding

The NSW Government has worked hard 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.

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

Strata managing agents, building, property or maintenance managers for  multi-story residential buildings should:

Find out if the building has aluminium cladding

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

You should also ensure that all fire safety maintenance measures have been addressed.

Engage a fire safety professional

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

Engaging a fire safety professional

It’s recommended that you only engage an experienced professional that is a 'fire protection' specialist or a 'fire safety engineer'. Most experienced professional will be members of industry professional bodies - Fire Protection Association Australia, the National Fire Industry Association or Engineers Australia. Details of accredited certifiers are available on the Building Professionals Board website.

It’s 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.

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 contact the relevant owner, strata managing agent, building, property or maintenance manager and ask them to:

Find out if the building has aluminium cladding

They should 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

They should ensure all fire safety maintenance measures have been addressed.

Ensure a fire safety professional has inspected any cladding

If aluminium composite panels have been used on the building, ask the strata managing agent, building manager, property manager or maintenance manager if a fire safety professional has:

  • reviewed and inspected the cladding - including the suitability of the type of material used and installation method
  • checked the overall fire safety of the building
  • provided an assessment of any steps required to maintain or improve the building’s fire safety.

What is the NSW government doing to address the issue?

An inter-agency Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce has been established. The Taskforce are working through reforms to strengthen the current fire safety protections.

Download the Taskforce factsheet (PDF, 202.47 KB) for more information.

 
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