As reported previously, fire safety rules are changing in New South Wales from April.
For HVAC practitioners, the major change at this stage is that only those who are accredited as competent fire safety practitioners (CFSPs) under the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) will be authorised to conduct the annual assessment of essential fire safety measures. This includes the four mechanical fire safety measures:
- Fire dampers
- Smoke dampers
- Mechanical air-handling systems
- Smoke and heat vents.
The Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) class of FPAS accreditation accredits individuals who undertake assessment of the performance capability of fire safety measures for the purpose of informing an annual or supplementary fire safety statement.
To gain FSA accreditation, individuals must demonstrate a level of required knowledge, skill and experience to perform the fire safety assessor role. They must also hold appropriate insurance, and must agree to and abide by the FPA Australia Code of Professional Conduct.
Fire safety practitioners can now apply for assessment in these areas through the FPA Australia website.
From April 6, when the scheme is expected to be gazetted, CFSPs will need to have passed this assessment to continue working in annual assessment roles in NSW.
Note that eventually HVAC practitioners will also need accreditation for endorsing the plans and specification of all fire safety systems; however, this will come later.
At this stage, accreditation will only be required for endorsing the plans and specifications for installation or modification of “hose reels, hydrants, sprinkler systems, fire detection and alarm systems”.
For more information about the reforms, click here.