FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How many Fire Extinguishers do I need?
The first step is to do a risk assessment to work out what type of fires may potentially occur in your workplace. Placement of Fire Extinguishers is governed by Australian Standard 2444 and the Building Code of Australia. As a guide the requirement is one extinguisher every 15 metres if practicable for Class A fires and every 20 metres for Class E and F fires. Obviously a common sense approach is advised in Fire Extinguisher quantities and locations due to the vast number of building configurations possible. This information should be considered as a general guide, not as an exact rule
What are essential safety provisions?
The term 'essential safety provisions' (ESP's) is defined in Schedule 1 of the Development Regulations and it includes any safety systems, equipment or other provisions defined as such, or required to be installed in a building under the Development Regulations, Building Code or Minister's Specification performance requirements for the maintenance and testing (ESP)
I have currently rented a workshop and will be changing the layout of the building do I need to inform council?
A form 1 is required In accordance with regulation 100(4), a relevant authority or council is required to issue a schedule of essential safety provisions when-
(a) issuing a building consent for a building in which essential safety provisions are installed or required to be installed, applicable to-
(i) new building work;
(ii) alterations and additions to an existing building;
(iii) a new essential safety provision installation; and
(iv) alterations or additions to an existing essential safety provision (including work required under a fire safety notice); or
(b) assigning a change of classification (no building work) for a building in which essential safety provisions are installed; or
(c) a building owner applies for a new schedule to be issued for a building in which essential safety provisions are installed (fee payable); or
(d) certifying that building work complies with the Building Rules (eg Crown development under section 131(21) of the Act) for a building in which essential safety provisions are installed or required to be installed
As a building owner do, I required to lodge a Form 3 essential safety provision maintenance verification to council?
In accordance with regulation 100(7) and (8), a building owner must provide annual proof in the appropriate form 3 to the relevant council that maintenance and testing have been carried out on all essential safety provisions installed in the building
A Form 3 is not required to be submitted to council for the following buildings unless the building has been the subject of a notice under section 157 of the Act, or the essential safety provisions have been installed under a condition arising from a variance with the performance requirements of the Building Code-
(a) a Class 1b building; or
(b) a class 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9b building that does not have a rise in storeys exceeding 2 and does not have a floor area exceeding 500 m².
Does my maintenance service provider require to provide a yearly condition report ?
Yearly condition reports, which summarise the service records for the year’s maintenance activities, are also required under AS 1851 to be provided by maintenance service providers to building owners each year. Yearly condition reports must contain the information required by AS 1851, which includes details of all outstanding defects and non-conformances, and building owners must be notified if any fire system or equipment is no longer operational due to outstanding defects.
Is it a offence not to maintain fire equipment?
Building owners should note that under regulation 100(6) it is an offence to use or permit the use of a building in which maintenance and testing of essential safety provisions as required by regulation 100 has not been carried out and an expiation fee can be applied.
What is baseline data ?
Baseline data determines the performance benchmarks that fire protection systems must achieve if they are to perform as required by a development authorisation. Baseline data for fire protection systems should be recorded in the maintenance records and be readily available at the premises for checking by maintenance contractors and/or a relevant authority.Where baseline data is not available it should be re-established in order to determine the performance benchmarks that must be maintained.
I have read on our test sheets absence of Baseline Data as a Defect and I haven’t been notified by my service provider ?
The absence of Baseline Data should be recorded as a Non-Conformance as detailed in AS 1851-2012 Clause 1.8. The owner should be notified—within one week (as required by AS 1851-2012 Clause 1.17)—that without this Data, they are unable to verify that the system’s level of performance meets that required by the approved design.
Is the absence of an item of required Baseline Data a matter that requires repair?
The absence of an item of Baseline Data is not evidence that a system fails to operate at the level of performance required at the time it was approved. It is a non-conformance under AS1851-2012 Clause 1.8 that the owner must be notified of. Additionally, and more importantly, without this Data, a service contractor will not be able to verify that the system continues to perform as required by the approved design. This is an issue that is in contravention of most Building and Fire Safety legislation.
My service provider recorded a Non-Critical Defect for an AS 1851-2012 service item that requires Baseline Data—yet there is no available Data— to enable verification of a systems’ level of performance?
Explanation: These service items should recorded as a Fail because there is a ‘Failure to Verify’. This fail should not be recorded as a defect (Critical or Non-Critical). A defect is matter that renders a system inoperative, a system impairment or component fault. A ‘Failure to Verify’ is none of these. It should be recorded as a Non-Conformance. Firetech recommends the following text be used: “Insufficient baseline data available to verify that the system continues to perform as required by the approved design.”