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The Complete Guide to Fire Protection Compliance

Updated: Dec 21, 2021


Fire Protection Compliance

One of the basic requirements relating to fire safety and fire protection compliance is that building solutions must comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) by demonstrating that the relevant performance requirements are met. A fire safety performance solution can be complex as it requires input from all stakeholders, including building owners. Compliance is time-consuming, and hence it should be included in the designing phase itself and not as a last-minute fix. According to the Government regulations, it is a legal obligation for any building to adhere to the fire safety standards and be fire compliant. Read on to find out more about different aspects of fire compliance.

What is a Compliance Audit?

A compliance audit is a thorough review of an organization’s adherence to regulatory guidelines. Fire safety compliance includes being compliant in both active and passive fire protection. It is necessary to make sure that your building adheres to all rules and regulations laid down if you wish to pass a fire compliance audit.

For instance, it includes mandatory requirements such as installing smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and other fire equipment. It also means having your sliding or automatic closing fire doors serviced. Likewise, the fire exits and doorways should always be obstruction-free so that people can exit a building safely and quickly in case of a fire. If you have sliding fire doors, you should keep the tracks dust and obstacle-free. All these passive fire protection compliance steps would make sure better fire safety.

Check the Local Rules and Regulations

Fire protection compliance rules and regulations differ from state to state. For instance, Western Australia does not currently require registered fire engineers while some other states might have such a requirement in place. Furthermore, regardless of the regulations, it is recommended that the fire safety processes for a specific project are checked by qualified fire engineers. If you are looking for compliance, it is essential to get things done by well-qualified professionals with skills and experience. They can review your fire protection systems as well.

Consider the Relevant Stakeholders

No fire protection compliance process is complete without the inputs of the relevant stakeholders. The stakeholders include:

• Client or client’s representative (such as building owner or a project manager)

• Fire engineer

• Registered building surveyor

• Architect or designer

• Department of Fire and Emergency Services

Coordination with Relevant Building Services

Some solutions of passive fire protection in Australia might impact the design of other services or building elements. For instance, an improved smoke management system might rely on the operation of the smoke exhaust system at a specific rate on activation of particular detectors. It would require the mechanical engineer to design the exhaust system to achieve the specified rate, and the electrical/fire services consultant to ensure that the smoke exhaust system operates as required.

Such a process would require you to work with the fire safety engineer to make sure that the designs provided by the consultants are per the Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER). You will have to provide the correct technical information and relevant specifications for fire protection compliance.

Adhering to Safety Standards

The building’s fire safety system should be under Australian standards and relevant building act if any. The fire safety regulations such as fire doors and other fire protection equipment should be checked during and after construction to ensure they meet relevant standards. Both new buildings and existing buildings must adhere to expected safety standards and may require further inspection, testing, and certification at various stages of construction/maintenance.

While building owners should ensure fire protection compliance by installing equipment and fire safety procedures in the building, the building occupants should also be a part of the entire exercise. Both parties can take several passive fire protection steps to ensure everything aligns with fire safety regulations and safety standards. Regular testing of systems and equipment, adherence to building code, and fire safety procedures should be the norm.

If the building owner or project manager is planning some building alterations, they should not neglect its fire safety systems. Fire compliance is a must, whether you are building, altering a building or maintaining it. It is essential to ensure that all personnel in the building have access to fire safety equipment and understand the relevant procedures. If you cannot claim compliance on your own, you can get help from professional fire protection compliance services. Regular inspection and annual fire safety assessment is also significant step to ensure better safety and fire compliance.

In the case of new buildings, the builder must submit a notice of completion with relevant test certificates. In the case of existing buildings, the owner is responsible for maintaining the building’s safety measures together with any specific requirements in the FSER.

Compliance Auditing - Fire Door Inspection & Reporting

Fire doors slow the spread of the fire and minimise the damage. Thus, regular maintenance of fire doors is one of the primary compliance requirements. While doing the maintenance, you need to ensure the integrity of the doors and make sure that they are not damaged. You must service all your fire doors according to the AS1851:2005 section 17 by a fully qualified technician at your premises. That way, you can address any minor repairs right away. This is usually a requirement for insurance as well.

Furthermore, the AS1851:2005 section 17 mandates all fire door systems to be tested/serviced on a 3-monthly basis and inspected annually. So, you must maintain a logbook of all testing on the fire doors as it is required for insurance audits.​You can get the help of specialised service providers for repairs, replacements, service, and maintenance of fire doors for fire protection compliance.

Get in Touch

For more information on fire prevention measures in schools, passive fire protection procedures, and fire stopping products, get in touch today by giving us a call at (08) 9399 6957 or send us an email to sales@australianfirecontrol.com.au. You can also post an enquiry via our contact form.

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