Development Assessment

The CFS Development Assessment Service team provides advice and approval for new constructions in areas under CFS jurisdiction in accordance with legislation, and includes:

  • advice on land use planning, residential and commercial development, including reviewing the siting and construction of such developments and promoting resilience for buildings within bushfire prone areas
  • work with the SA Attorney General’s Department to review land use and building policy, and hazard mapping
  • provide education and influence to local government staff, private sector practitioners and industry organisations on best practice approaches to mitigating bushfire hazard and improving commercial building fire safety outcomes
  • comment on fire fighting capabilities and requirements for new land divisions and development with major projects status
  • consulting on, reviewing, commenting, approving and commissioning fire systems for Class 2 to 9 buildings (see Application Forms)
  • representing the CFS Chief Officer on 63 local council Building Fire Safety Committees
  • connect and manage fire alarms for the purpose of monitoring (see Fire Alarms).

Our commitment

We are committed to ensuring that you receive quality service, quickly and courteously. Read our Customer Service Charter.

Referral for development assessment

When a development application is referred to the CFS under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Regulations, the CFS Development Assessment Service team will assess the development and provides statutory advice. Considerations include siting, construction, structural standards, access for emergency service vehicles, vegetation clearance, firefighting equipment and water supply fire safety systems and performance solutions required in the NCC.

You are encouraged to request advice before you submit a development application.

For information on:

Bushfire safety

Residential developments and some businesses/commercial properties in bushfire prone areas

  • You will need to check with your local council or building certifier if any approvals are needed. If you only need to have a BAL you will need to refer to a private provider.
  • When building in a high-risk bushfire area, a referral to CFS is needed and a report will be provided. That process can be direct through council/planner, or you can come to CFS direct using an Application for preliminary agency advice. You will need to have drawings of your proposal e.g. site plan, elevations, floor plan, materials of construction.
  • A BAL Application is needed for Building Rules consent to determine the construction level of the house and it will be provided with an Application for preliminary agency advice through the council.
  • Yes. Moving the house, changing the size etc, may change your BAL rating or other elements such as the driveway. Your approval is only valid for the plans that were assessed.
  • If the shed is less than 500m2 and within 6m of a dwelling you will need a BAL assessment because the shed must be built to the same bushfire rating as the dwelling.
  • If the shed is over 500m2 please refer to Commercial FAQs.
  • Contact the Development Assessment Service on 08 8115 3372
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to give you a specific date or time as officers will have several inspections on a day in different locations, not having a specific time and date arranged might mean your assessment is done quicker.
  • If you have identified a specific hazard that needs your attendance then, the CFS Bushfire Safety Officer will contact you.
  • Can you arrange for the dog to be secured and/or the gates to be unlocked? If not, we will make a note on the file and a CFS Bushfire Safety Officer will contact you to make suitable arrangements to inspect the property.
  • Refer to Native vegetation management for clarification.
  • Please read our position statement of mature/large trees on residential properties, however, if you still think that your individual tree is a bushfire risk you can apply for an Assessment Application.
  • However, if your enquiry is in regards to your development application, you can mark down trees proposed for removal, CFS will assess what exists on the land at the time of the assessment and what is proposed for removal and provide advice on how that impacts your application. Please don’t remove vegetation prior to development approval or Native vegetation approval. Refer to the Native Vegetation Council for clarification regarding native vegetation removal for development.
  • You will need to speak to the CFS bushfire safety officer that undertook the BAL assessment of the property.
  • You might be able to reduce the vegetation or move the development further away from it. However, reducing the vegetation is only an option if the vegetation is within your own property boundaries. If the vegetation is on neighbouring property and you cant move the house from the boundary a reduced BAL might not be achievable.
  • Note: BAL assesses vegetation within 100m of the subject land.
  • If your report was submitted:
  • You can obtain a copy of the report from the Applicant (such as the builder or designer), Council or PlanSA portal.


  • Yes, for properties in Medium/General Bushfire Hazard Rating areas.
  • If your Bushfire Hazard Rating is High - it is likely that a swimming pool can be used, provided it is accessible to the fire truck within 3m and not obstructed, there is sufficient water available all year round and the volume is compliant with the Additional requirements in designated bushfire prone areas (Ministerial Building Standard MBS008). Individual cases will need to be assessed by a Bushfire Safety Officer.

Fire safety

Commercial developments

  • Section 45, under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016, mandates that the relevant Fire Authority considers any application for assessment of a Performance Solution in relation to Fire Safety Systems where it affects Fire Intervention. Application for referral for Regulation 45
  • A functional test is required under Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016, Regulation 103, for any new hydrant system with a booster or any smoke management system that requires to be monitored or used by the fire services. Application report under Regulation 103
  • The Regulations under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 stipulate
    • 20 business days for Regulation 45 assessment
    • 15 business days for Regulation 83/103 commissioning
    • A CFS Fire Safety Officer will contact you if operational responsibilities may impact the delivery of reporting on your application.
  • If it's for commercial use and/or over 500m2 please contact the Development Assessment Service on 08 8115 3372.
  • Make sure you have all relevant information before calling i.e. What will the shed be used for? Accurate size and area of the shed, address of the property, site contact information etc.
  • For completion progress or to discuss your project contact the Development Assessment Service on 08 8115 3372.
  • A CFS Fire Safety Officer will contact you before an inspection.
  • This is highly dependent on the type, size and location of building as well as the scope of fire systems required.
  • Please submit either the development application documents for formal assessment or provide a site plan and address for comment.
  • Refer to Built Environment Section Policy Number 14.


  • If the development has any fire service facilities that will be used by the fire services, namely fire hydrants, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm monitoring systems, smoke management systems or if the site has special hazards, excessive storage or mass battery storage facilities, restricted access or if the local fire service capabilities maybe limited or unknown.
  • Use our map and from the top left Menu select MFS Gazetted Fire Districts.
  • Search for the property address in the top right search bar.
  • If shaded purple: enquiries/applications for assessment for fire safety systems go to MFS
  • Outside shaded area: enquiries/applications go to CFS,
  • Note: If your application is related to Bushfire Hazard Overlay, your application needs to be directed to CFS,
  • While the local CFS brigade may, out of good will, offer some advice, CFS volunteers are not authorised to answer or offer any advice on fire safety matters for commercial buildings. For all enquires contact the Development Assessment Service on 08 8115 3372.
  • Charges associated with a Regulation 45 referral are determined on an hourly basis, covering time associated with meetings, review of submitted documentation and preparation of the report itself. The hourly rates for these activities are set in SA Government Schedule 17. The time committed to a Regulation 45 referral typical depends on the complexity of the project, the amount of documentation required to be review and the quality of the documentation and information submitted.
  • Yes, we encourage consultation on all projects, particularly in relation to the installed fire safety systems that we will be expected to interact with, such as fire hydrant systems and automatic detection and alarm systems. This is particularly useful and valuable where CFS testing (pursuant to Regulation 103) will be required for a project.

Fire Safety System Testing

  • A functional test is required under PDI Regulation 103 for any new hydrant system with a booster or any smoke management system that requires to be monitored or used by the fire services. This is to ensure that the installed system are installed to the required Australian Standards and matches the local fire service equipment and capabilities.
  • Note: these tests are a requirement under the PDI Regulations to allow a Building Certifier/Local Council to issue an approval to occupy a commercial building.
  • When organising the Regulation 103 test by the CFS it is important to note that at the time of inspection the site must not be a construction site for workplace health and safety reasons. We generally expects the main contractor’s scope of works to be completed (to Practical Completion) with only minor fit out works outstanding, such as painting and joinery or appliance installation. There must be no unfinished construction work and the site must be clear of any electrical hazards, trip hazards and the like. The site also needs to be fully accessible to fire crews.
  • Note: depending on workloads, location, and complexity a request for a test may need two weeks’ notice. These tests normally involve volunteer fire fighters taking time off from their regular employment to assist, please consider this when projecting a practical completion and the requested testing date.
  • When requesting or booking a fire system test, please complete and submit the relevant online forms.
  • Note: you MAY need to make separate application for each fire system you require tested – confirm with Development Assessment Service on 08 8115 3372.
    • Hydrant Booster / Sprinkler testing
    • Alarm connection / Alteration / conditions of connection agreement / MAFS Forms
  • Note: We will not conduct any Hydrant Booster testing until the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) certificate, a Hydrostatic Test Certificate (Plumbers CoC/ Form #2) and block plans for the system has been received. If these are not received within 48 hours of your booking the test maybe cancelled at short notice.
  • No, it is a functionality testing performed by the CFS pursuant to Regulation 103 is not a commissioning test for the purposes of complying with the National Construction Code (NCC) or the respective system installation standards. The functionality testing performed by the CFS is to verify the operation of the specified fire safety systems to adequately facilitate firefighting activities and intervention by the CFS in the event of a fire in the building, thus meeting the functional requirements of Regulation 103.
  • Commissioning of installed fire safety systems in accordance with the requirements of the relevant design and installation standard(s) must be conducted by the installing contractor. The system(s) need to be commissioned and confirmed as meeting the requirements of the standard(s) prior to the Regulation 103 functionality inspection and test. Failure to do so may result in the installed system(s) failing to meet the requirements of the design standard(s). The CFS is not a compliance auditor, however any obvious non-compliances will be identified and will likely require rectification prior to a satisfactory Regulation 103 report being issued. A reinspection or retest may be required.
  • Monitored Fire Alarm Systems
    that is compliance with the requirements of CFS Fire Alarm Conditions of Connection, the relevant Australian Standards and the fire service Standard Operating Procedures needs to be confirmed before the system can be connected to the fire authority monitoring service.
  • Fire Hydrant Systems
    the minimum design hydraulic performance of the system at meet, and the ability of the CFS to effectively use the system, is confirmed via recording of the flows and pressures achieved during the test.
  • Fire Sprinkler system
    the minimum design hydraulic performance of the system at meet, and the ability of the CFS to effectively use the system, is confirmed via recording of the flows and pressures achieved during the test.
  • Hot Smoke Testing
    these tests dynamically and holistically verify the coordinated and integrated operation of all necessary building fire safety systems required to function in the event of a fire alarm activation where smoke management systems are installed. Hot smoke testing cannot be used to verify the actual performance but only the functionality of the installed smoke management system.
    Note: All installed fire safety systems must be commissioned by the installing contractor in accordance with the requirements of the relevant installation standard. This should occur prior to any Regulation 103 inspections or testing conducted by the CFS.

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