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Bannermans Fire Safety Guidelines – Step 3

Posted 20 May 2024

Category: Aluminium Cladding, eBooks

3. Notification and By-Laws

It is important to remember that, cladding is not, by itself, an ignition source. Cladding is essentially a non-loadbearing skin or layer attached to the outside of a building used in part to insulate the building and also in part to improve its appearance.

In most cases, the ignition source for fires are flames, with many fires in Melbourne and Sydney, often started by cigarettes.

To minimise the impact of these causes, consider instituting notifying residents of the issues and implementing a by-law regarding no smoking and no barbeques, if this could ignite cladding in your scheme.

This process would allow the owners corporation to:

  • Review the schemes by-laws to establish if there a mechanism of preventing smoking or barbequing.

Many schemes have by-laws in place which deal with smoke drifting from one unit to another. It is important to remember that such by-laws do not ban the smoking of cigarettes or use of barbeques;

  • Inform residents of the combustible nature of the cladding installed on the façade of the building and the importance of abstaining from activities that may ignite the cladding;
  • Register a by-law which restricts residents from igniting cigarettes or allowing naked flames to exist in barbeques or otherwise in the common property, courtyards and unit balconies; and
  • Once registered, hold residents breaching the by-law and jeopardising the safety of the scheme accountable in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

It is important to remember that a by-law “must not be harsh, unconscionable or oppressive” as stated in section 132 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (NSW). Accordingly, the implementation of a by-law regarding no smoking and no barbeques is only suitable if the scheme has confirmed the presence of combustible cladding on the building.

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This is an extract from our Bannermans Aluminium Cladding Fire Safety Guidelines.

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Bannermans Lawyers

Published 20 May 2024