Residents and tenants of high-rise apartment buildings in NSW that may have cladding installed are the target of a new campaign from the Fire Safety and External Wall Cladding Taskforce.
“The campaign informs those who own, live or work in affected buildings of the actions the NSW Government is taking to ensure their safety, and the steps occupants can take to ensure they have the information and expert advice they need to make sure their building is safe,” Taskforce Chair Martin Hoffman said.
“As always, our message is that just because their building has cladding, does not mean that it is unsafe.
“Fire safety depends on a range of factors, including the quantity and configuration of any cladding, as well as safety measures including sprinklers, smoke detectors and emergency exits.”
Residents and tenants are encouraged to ensure their building is safe by:
- finding out if their building has aluminium cladding;
- checking whether their building has a current and up-to-date fire safety statement;
- ensuring a fire safety professional has inspected any cladding; and
- taking immediate action to make any recommended changes.
“Concerned tenants should contact their managing agent or landlord to find out what action they are taking,” Mr Hoffman said .
The taskforce has already contacted more than 5,000 building owners and managers of buildings identified in the audit to provide information about the action they should take to ensure the safety of their building. Last year, NSW Fair Trading visited 51 sites that Fire & Rescue NSW deemed require further expert assessment, and hand delivered letters to building residents.
Taskforce member agency, Fire & Rescue NSW, has also developed a comprehensive fact sheet on fire safety in high-rise residential buildings, available in a number of languages including Chinese simplified, Chinese traditional, Korean, Vietnamese and Arabic.
In December 2017, the tough fire safety laws in NSW were bolstered with the introduction of the Building Products (Safety) Act 2017. The new laws require dangerous building products to be located and removed.
This followed comprehensive reforms announced in July 2017 to further strengthen the protections in place for fire safety, with a focus on residential buildings, including reforms to the Building Certification System.
New laws requiring building owners to register whether their building has combustible external wall cladding and undertake a fire safety assessment are currently open for public comment on the Department’s website.
More information about cladding: cladding.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au. For information about fire safety, visit Fire & Rescue NSW’s high-rise building fire safety page. To access and comment on the new Legislation requiring owners to declare whether their building has cladding, visit planning.nsw.gov.au.