NSW Fair Trading officers have discovered more than half of the 21 building sites recently audited for fire safety standards across Sydney and Wollongong had defective fire safety systems.
Defects at 11 of the 21 construction sites include faulty fire doors, inadequate fire hydrant equipment during construction, and poor sealing of gaps and voids near pipes and wall spaces to slow or stop the spread of smoke and flames.
Urgent notices were issued at two of the sites, ordering the installation of operational fire hydrants and portable extinguishers.
Protective measures like sprinklers, fire alarms and smoke management are designed to ensure occupants are protected and can safely exit their building in case of a fire.
The inspections covered class 2, 3 and 9c buildings such as residential apartments, aged care, boarding houses, and student accommodation.
NSW Fair Trading is working with independent certifiers at several sites to ensure these issues are fixed before an occupation certificate is issued and residents can move in.
Officers will revisit sites as necessary to monitor compliance with fire safety protections.
The Building and Construction Compliance Team discovered other safety concerns during their visits. The most common problem was the risk of falling from heights, a leading safety concern in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.
Fair Trading Commissioner, Natasha Mann, said fire safety systems are critical to the protection of residents in the event of a fire and saves lives.
“Defective fire protection in the construction stage is unacceptable. We won’t tolerate anyone cutting corners,” Mann warned.