Building Compliance vs Insurance Requirements

Historically, society has been focused on ensuring buildings are safe for occupation, which in most Australian states, including New South Wales, is governed by regulation.

The fire safety requirements in buildings are determined based on the type of building, what it is used for, the expected occupants and it’s overall size and height.

These requirements are prescribed in the building code of Australia and relevant Australian standards. They are mainly designed to provide early warning, fire and smoke separation, fire suppression and evacuation provisions.

However, there has been a very rapid escalation in insurance companies imposing insurance coverage conditions on having fire safety systems in place when the regulation does not require them.

It is clear that insurance companies focus on asset protection and not necessarily on the building occupants, which is, of course, opposite to the purpose of the regulations.

In many cases, insurance companies are seeking to install monitored fire detection systems, which will help identify a potential fire in remote building locations and after hours.

The problem with this solution is that you cannot install a fire detection system in a building without a development application complying with development consent. Installing a fire detection system can be expensive and difficult in existing buildings, not to mention the monitoring and potential callout costs.

There is a very good solution that avoids a DA, is easy to install with little business disruption, is legal, and provides the required protection for insurers and occupants with no extra monitoring cost.

If you are in this position and want to find out more, please get in touch with us so we can help you understand your options and assist with installation.

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