AUST – HENDRY building surveyors were engaged by a major institutional owner of various buildings to update a BCA Audit (Building Code of Australia) and Fire Safety Audit previously performed by the Hendry Group a number of years earlier on two buildings. The BCA Audit and Fire Safety Audit revolve around whether a sprinkler system complying with AS2118.4 Automatic Fire Sprinklers – 1995 is to be installed or not.

This part extract of the BCA Audit and Fire Safety Audit will give a guide to building owners and managers the differences between upgrading an existing building depending on whether a sprinkler installation is installed in accordance with AS2118.4- Automatic fire sprinkler systems – Residential.

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BCA AUDIT – FIRE SAFETY AUDIT

BUILDING CODE OF AUSTRALIA SECTIONS C, D AND E ASSESSMENT

Fire Safety Audit Photo here

FOR

XXXX (Fire Safety Audit)

SEPTEMBER 2010

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BCA AUDIT – FIRE SAFETY AUDIT DISCLAIMER

The information contained in this Fire Safety Audit is given in good faith, based on site surveys and information provided to Hendry Group (XX) Pty Ltd by site representatives. However, Hendry Group (XX) Pty Ltd, their directors and/ or employees do not give any warranty for the reliability or accuracy of this information or accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this Fire Safety Audit, whether by negligence or otherwise.

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FIRE SAFETY AUDIT – TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY………………………………………………………………….4

2. RECOMMENDATIONS…………………………………………………………………….5
 
3. INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………..12

3.1 Purpose of Fire Safety Audit………………………………………………………. 12
3.2 BCA Version……………………………………………………………………………… 12
3.3 Source of Data and Limitations………………………………………………….. 12
3.4 Fire Safety Audit Methodology…………………………………………………… 12
3.4 Areas Not Accessible………………………………………………………………….. 13
 

4. BUILDING DESCRIPTION………………………………………………………………..14
4.1 General…………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
4.2 Building Fire Safety Features……………………………………………………… 14
4.3 Classification / Type of Construction………………………………………….. 14
 

5. BCA AUDIT – FIRE SAFETY AUDIT……………………………………………16
5.1 Fire Resistance – BCA Section C…………………………………………………… 16
5.1.1 Fire Resisting Construction (Specification C1.1)……………………. 16
5.1.2 Fire Hazard Properties (Specification C1.10)………………………… 17
5.1.3 Compartmentation (Part C2)………………………………………………. 18
5.1.4 Vertical Separation of Openings in External Walls (C2.6(a))…. 18
5.1.5 Separation by Firewalls (C2.9 and C3.3)……………………………… 19
5.1.6 Separation of Lift Shafts (C2.10 and E3.3)…………………………… 20
5.1.7 Separation of Equipment (C2.12)………………………………………… 20
5.1.8 Public Corridors (C2.14)…………………………………………………….. 21
5.1.9 Protection of Openings (C3.2)…………………………………………….. 22
5.1.10 Doors to Fire Stairs (C3.8)…………………………………………………. 22
5.1.11 Doorways in Bounding Construction (C3.11)………………………. 23
5.1.12 Openings for Services (C3.12, C3.13 and C3.15)………………….. 25
5.2 Access and Egress – BCA Section D………………………………………………. 25
5.2.1 Fire Isolated Exits (D1.3 and D1.7)………………………………………. 26
5.2.2 Exit Travel Distances (D1.4, D1.5 and D1.9)…………………………. 27
5.2.3 Dimensions of Exits and Paths of Travel to Exits (D1.6)………… 28
5.2.4 Discharge from Exits (D1.10)……………………………………………… 28
5.2.5 Installations in Paths of Travel (D2.7)………………………………….. 28
5.2.6 Goings and Risers and Handrails (D2.13 and D2.17)…………….. 29
5.2.7 Balustrades (D2.16)……………………………………………………………. 30
5.2.8 Fixed Platforms, Walkways, Stairways and Ladders (D2.18)… 32
5.2.9 Exit Doors and Operation of Latch (D2.19, D2.20 and D2.21)… 32
5.2.10 Signs on Doors (D2.23)……………………………………………………… 33
5.3 Services – BCA Section E……………………………………………………………… 33
5.3.1 Fire Hydrants and Hose Reels (E1.3 and E1.4)……………………… 34
5.3.2 Sprinklers (E1.5)………………………………………………………………… 36
5.3.3 Fire Extinguishers (E1.6)……………………………………………………. 38
5.3.4 Smoke Hazard Management (E2.2)…………………………………….. 38
5.3.5 Fire Indicator Panel (E2.2, AS 1603 and AS 1670)………………… 39
5.3.6 Emergency Lifts (E3.2 and 3.4)…………………………………………… 40
5.3.7 Emergency Lighting and Exit Signs (Part E4)……………………… 40
5.3.8 Sound System and Intercom System for Emergency
Purposes (E4.9)………………………………………………………………………….. 41

6. Fire Safety Audit CONCLUSION…………………………………………….43
 
APPENDICES…………………………………………………………………………………..
Appendix A – Fire Safety AuditPhotographs……………………………………………………
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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Hendry Group (XX) Pty Ltd has been engaged by XXXX to update the Building Code of Australia (BCA) BCA Audit and Fire Safety Audit of the XXXX previously carried out by the Hendry Group in August XXXX. XXXX has requested that Hendry Group update the BCA Audit taking into account any changes that may have occurred to the building since completing the XXXX Fire Safety Audit and any changes to the BCA which may have a significant affect to the building.

XXXX has also requested that the fire safety audit recommendations summary table include a priority rating.

The updated fire safety audit report, as with the XXXX Fire Safety Audit, will comment and provide recommendations in relation to the applicable BCA fire and life safety provisions of Parts C, D and E of the BCA.

The updated fire safety audit identifies departures from the deemed to satisfy provisions of the BCA and provides recommendations/strategies which are considered appropriate and provides appropriate priority ratings to the recommendations.

The XXXX is a four storey reinforced concrete and masonry building served by two fire stairs and link at level 2 the XXXX. XXXX.

The following table in item 2 consolidates recommendations arising out of our fire safety audit. The fire safety audit items correspond to the body of the report wherein more detailed comments can be found. These works are recommended on the basis of a single criterion, ie. to minimise the risk to life safety and to achieve reasonable compliance with the BCA. The works have been prioritised into High (6 months), Medium (6-18 months), and Low (18 months-3 years).

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2. RECOMMENDATIONS

The fire safety audit recommendations are structured to provide two costing alternatives reflected as Option A (no sprinkler protection) and Option B (with sprinkler protection).

Option A – Fire Safety Audit

The recommendations in the BCA Audit are summarised in the table below based on there being no sprinkler installation provided in the building and other fire safety concerns being met through a high degree of BCA compliance.

Item
BCA Audit Reference Recommendations Fire Safety Audit Priority Rating
Fire Resistance – BCA Section C – Fire Safety Audit
1 5.1.1 Assume that the existing structure is deemed as being adequate for the purpose of meeting the requirements for Type A construction.
2 5.1.2 (i) Replace timber lining in or about XXXX unless building is sprinkler protected.(ii) Remove carpet from fire stairs unless building is sprinkler protected.(iii) Establish a policy of proving materials and finishes used in the building will comply with BCA Clause C1.10 and maintain records. HHH
3 5.1.4 Provide vertical separation of all openings in the external walls of the building (spandrels 900mm high, 60 minutes FRL, 600mm above floor level or horizontal construction). M
4 5.1.5 Accept -/60/30 fire doors instead of -/90/30 doors at the level XXXX.
5 5.1.6 (i) No action is necessary unless the lift shaft and LMR are to be recommissioned or put to an alternative use. Seek advice at this time.
(ii) Update the emergency plans.
H
6 5.1.8 (i) Ensure that new automatic smoke doors are fitted with electromagnetic devices interlinked to smoke detection. Install smoke detectors both sides within 1.5m of the all smoke doors fitted with hold open devices.(ii) Provide smoke compartmentation in the corridors to restrict passageway length to 40m.(iii) All smoke doors are to be fitted with suitable smoke seals and statutory signage. MMM
7 5.1.9 Provide sprinkler protection to openings in the XXXX and XXXX that are less than 6m apart including those within 6m of the XXXX firewall. M
8 5.1.10 Unless validated as being -/60/30 fire doors, replace all doors to the two fire stairs. M
9 5.1.11 (i) Provide self closing or automatic -/60/30 fire doors to the common room.(ii) Replace all existing doors to sole occupancy units (XXXX) and rooms opening to XXXX with self closing fire rated door sets, including the frame, to achieve a FRL of not less than -/60/30. Tag the door sets to AS 1905.1.(iii) Install -/60/30 fire doors to the laundries to
AS 1905.1.
MMM
10 5.1.12 (i) Implement a policy to ensure all service penetrations through the floors and any masonry walls are fire sealed and fire collars are fitted to PVC pipes.
(ii) Note that any service shaft rising through the four storeys must be enclosed in fire rated construction and achieve a FRL of not less than 90/90/90.
HM
Access and Egress – BCA Section D – Fire Safety Audit
 
11 5.2.1 (i) Install -/60/30 self closing fire doors to the storeroom and XXXX at the XXXX fire stair discharge.
(ii) Alter the discharge of the XXXX fire stair so that it is directly to outside the building on XXXX and protect all openings within 6m of the XXXX exit door.(iii) Ensure no hazardous materials are kept in the cleaner’s store.
M
MH
12 5.2.2 Install an additional external stair in lieu of a fire stair servicing the XXXX end of the corridor for levels XXXX. (Note all openings within 6m must be protected). M
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Item
BCA Audit
Reference

Recommendations
Fire Safety Audit

Priority Rating
13 5.2.5 Review and upgrade the existing electrical switchboard cabinet enclosure and the like to comply with BCA Clause D2.7 provisions, including smoke proofing the switchboard enclosure where applicable. M
14 5.2.6 (i) Install additional handrails to the exterior steps as noted in the report for item 5.2.6.
(ii) Provide non slip strips with a contrasting colour to stair flights which are not plain concrete with trowelled grooves to treads.
MH
15 5.2.7 (i) Increase the height of the balustrades to a minimum of 1m above the finished floor level at landings.
(ii) Reduce the size of the openings to not more than 125mm along all stair balustrading.(iii) Install additional guarding if openable window heights (865mm) are impacted by furniture.
M
MM
16 5.2.8 Inspect existing roof guard railing, etc. for compliance with AS 1657 and risk assess any departure from the code. H
17 5.2.9 (i)Verify operation of the automatic sliding door on XXXX in conjunction with key operation settings, snib lock and push to exit button.(ii) Modify locking function of the automatic sliding door so that snib locking function is not used. HH
18 5.2.10 (i) Maintain compliance with BCA D2.23 for new fire and smoke doors that may be installed, ie. provide correct signage.
(ii) Reinstate signage on doors that are replaced.
H
H
Item
BCA Audit
Reference

Recommendations
Fire Safety Audit

Probity Rating
Services – BCA Section E – Fire Safety Audit
19 5.3.1

(i) Relocate fire hydrant and fire hose reel to within 4m of the exit within the level XXXX.(ii) Install a fire hose reel adjacent to the fire hydrant in the XXXX on level XX.(iii) Remove canvas fire hoses upon installation of fire hose reel XXXX.(iv) Provide fire hydrant booster and feed assembly to AS 2419.1 for the building.(v) Carry out flow and pressure testing of the simultaneous operation of fire hydrant equipment on level 4 and record results.(vi) Carry out a hydrostatic test of the fire main to AS 2419.1.(vii) Prepare tactical fire plans and locate at the fire indicator panel, evacuation panel and the booster assembly.

(viii) Upgrade the emergency plans on all floors.

(ix) Alter cupboard signage to read “FIRE HYDRANT” in 75mm uppercase lettering in contrasting colour to the background when item (iii) is carried out (where no fire hose exists).

(x) We recommend an overall assessment of the hydrant system be carried out to establish the fire fighting strategy of XXXX.

MMMHHHHH

H

H

20 5.3.3 (i) Ensure all extinguishers are correctly hung.(ii) Consider removing 9 litre water type extinguishers as fire hose reels are installed. H
M
21 5.3.4 (i) Ensure that the existing automatic doors are interlinked to the smoke detection system.(ii) Provide as installed tactical fire plans at the fire indicator panel and evacuation panel.(iii) Integrate emergency plans with operations of the warden structure. HHH
22 5.3.5 An integrated fire test is recommended to be undertaken to verify that fire signals and interface with other plant and equipment in fire mode operation occurs correctly. H
23 5.3.7 Install automatic test facilities for emergency lighting circuits. M
24 5.3.8 (i) Carry out an integrated fire test to verify operation of the SSIS in fire mode to determine whether the existing sound pressure levels for occupant warning comply with current standards.(ii) Additional WIP (communication phones) are to be provided on each level at each exit.(iii) Integrate emergency procedures and the warden structure.(iv) Install tactical fire plans. HHH
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Option B – Fire Safety Audit

The recommendations in the fire safety audit are summarised in the table below based on a sprinkler installation being provided in the building. Sprinkler protection supports a concession approach to life safety.

Item
BCA Audit
Reference

Recommendations
Fire Safety Audit

Priority Rating
Fire Resistance – BCA Section C – Fire Safety Audit
1 5.1.1 Assume that the existing structure is deemed as being adequate for the purpose of meeting the requirements for Type A construction.
2 5.1.2 Establish a policy of proving materials and finishes used in the building will comply with BCA Clause C1.10 and maintain records. Retain existing finishes. H
3 5.1.4 Sprinkler protect the building throughout to AS 2118.4. M
4 5.1.5 Accept -/60/30 fire doors instead of -/90/30 doors at the XXXX.
5 5.1.6 (i) No action is necessary unless the lift shaft and LMR are to be recommissioned or put to an alternative use. Seek advice at this time.(ii) Update the emergency plans. H
6 5.1.8 (i) Ensure that new automatic smoke doors are fitted with electromagnetic devices interlinked to smoke detection. Install smoke detectors both sides within 1.5m of the all smoke doors fitted with hold open devices.(ii) Provide smoke compartmentation in the corridors to restrict passageway length to 40m.(iii) All smoke doors are to be fitted with suitable smoke seals and statutory signage. MMM
7 5.1.9 Sprinkler protect the XXXX and the XXXX Building. M
8 5.1.10 Retain existing stair doors which are not fire doors. (Note: doors must be at least 45mm thick solid core doors). Replace doors that are hollow core or the like.
9 5.1.11 (i) Doors opening to the XXXX and the other doors opening into the public corridors will not be required to be fire rated and self closing, due to XXXX for sprinkler protected buildings.(ii) Retain existing doors to the laundries.
10 5.1.12 (i) Implement a policy to ensure all service penetrations through the floors and any masonry walls are fire sealed and fire collars are fitted to PVC pipes.
(ii) Note that any service shaft rising through the four storeys must be enclosed in fire rated construction and achieve a FRL of not less than 90/90/90.
HM
Access and Egress – BCA Section D – Fire Safety Audit
11 5.2.1 (i) Install or validate existing doors are self closing doors to the XXXX and XXXX at the east fire stair discharge and fit smoke seals.(ii) Accept the discharge of the XXXX fire stair into the level 1 XXXX.(iii) Ensure no hazardous materials are kept in the storerooms. MH
12 5.2.2 Accept travel distances subject to installing a sprinkler system complying with the requirements of Specification E1.5 of the BCA, AS 2118.1 and XXXX of the BCA.
13 5.2.5 Review and upgrade the existing electrical switchboard cabinet enclosure and the like to comply with BCA Clause D2.7 provisions, including smoke proofing the switchboard enclosure where applicable. M
14 5.2.6 (i) Install additional handrails to the exterior steps as noted above.
(ii) Provide non slip strips with a contrasting colour to stair flights which are not plain concrete with trowelled grooves to treads.
M
H
15 5.2.7 (i) Increase the height of the balustrades to a minimum of 1m above the finished floor level at landings.(ii) Reduce the size of the openings to not more than 125mm along all stair balustrading.(iii) Install additional guarding if openable window heights (865mm) are impacted by furniture. MMM
16 5.2.8 Inspect existing roof guard railing, etc. for compliance with AS 1657 and risk assess any departure from the code. H
17 5.2.9 (i) Verify operation of the automatic sliding door on level 1 in conjunction with key operation settings, snib lock and push to exit button.(ii) Modify locking function of the automatic sliding door so that snib locking function is not used. HH
18 5.2.10 (i) Maintain compliance with BCA D2.23 for new fire and smoke doors that may be installed.(ii) Reinstate signage on doors that are replaced. HH
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Item
BCA Audit
Reference

Recommendations
Fire Safety Audit

Priority Rating
Services – BCA Section E – Fire Safety Audit
19 5.3.1

(i) Relocate fire hydrant and fire hose reel to within 4m of the exit within the level XXXX.(ii) Install a fire hose reel adjacent to the fire hydrant in the XXXX on XXXX. (Note concessions available under item 5.3.2).(iii) Remove canvas fire hoses upon installation of fire hose reel (XXXX).(iv) Provide fire hydrant booster and feed assembly to AS 2419.1 for the building.(v) Carry out flow and pressure testing of the simultaneous operation of fire hydrant equipment on level 4 and record results.(vi) Carry out a hydrostatic test of the fire main to AS 2419.1.(vii) Prepare tactical fire plans and locate at the fire indicator panel, evacuation panel and the booster assembly.

(vi) Upgrade the emergency plans on all floors.

(ix) Alter cupboard signage to read “FIRE HYDRANT” in 75mm uppercase lettering in contrasting colour to the background when item (iii) is carried out (where no fire hose exists).

(x) We recommend an overall assessment of the hydrant system be carried out to establish the fire fighting strategy of XXXX.

MMMMHHH

H

H

H

20 5.3.2 Install a sprinkler system to improve the overall safety of the occupants and to alleviate the need to undertake further intrusive building works such as fire rated door sets, spandrels, etc. M
21 5.3.3 (i) Ensure all extinguishers are correctly hung.(ii) Consider removing 9 litre water type extinguishers. HM
22 5.3.4 (i) Test to ensure that the existing automatic doors are interlinked to the smoke detection system and operate correctly on fire trip.(ii) Retain the smoke detection system to Specification E2.2(a) Clause 4 if a sprinkler system is to be installed. (Smoke detection is not required in the public corridors).(iii) Provide as installed tactical fire plans at the fire indicator panel and evacuation panel.(iv) Integrate emergency plans with operations of the warden structure. HHHH
23 5.3.5 An integrated fire test is recommended to be undertaken to verify that fire signals and interface with other plant and equipment in fire mode operation occurs correctly. H
24 5.3.7 Install automatic test facilities for emergency lighting circuits. M
25 5.3.8 (i)Carry out an integrated fire test to verify operation of the SSIS in fire mode to determine whether the existing sound pressure levels for occupant warning comply with current standards.(ii) Additional communication phones are to be provided on each level at each exit.(iii) Integrate emergency procedures and the warden structure.(iv) Install tactical fire plans. HHHH
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3.1 Purpose of BCA Audit and Fire Safety Audit

This BCA Audit and Fire Safety Audit has been prepared at the request of XXXX for the purpose of providing an assessment of compliance of the building with the deemed to satisfy requirements of Sections C, D and E of the BCA.

3.2 BCA Version

The version of the BCA against which this BCA Audit and Fire Safety Audit is made is the current version, known as BCA 2010, incorporating the XXXX variations effective from the 1 May 2010.

3.3 Source of Data and Limitations

The findings and recommendations of the fire safety audit are based on a visual inspection of accessible areas of the XXXX Building in XXXX 2010. No perusal of actual approved building permit plans, dispensations, etc. has occurred although detection plans have been viewed.

This fire safety audit report does not address matters related to the following items:
  • Structural adequacy.
  • Operational status of services and compliance of these with current Australian Standards.
  • Access and facilities for people with disabilities.
  • Health and amenity matters.

3.4 Fire Safety Audit Methodology

This fire safety audit has been undertaken on the basis of the XXXX current status as observed on site.

The XXXX has been considered under the major BCA headings of:

  • Section C – Fire Resistance, Compartmentation and Protection of Openings.
  • Section D – Access and Egress (except for Part D3 – Access for People with Disabilities).
  • Section E – Fire Services.

Only those requirements of the BCA which are relevant to the individual building are considered in the fire safety audit and professional judgement has been used in the assessment of the building.

The XXXX of the building is also impacted by requirements of the XXXX Regulations XXXX as follows:

  • Regulation XXXX – Self contained smoke alarms.
  • Regulation XXXX – Hard wired alarms or detection system.
  • XXXX BCA 2008 variations.

XXXXX

XXXXX

XXXXX

Professional judgment has been exercised in the comparison of the building to the BCA and the noted Building Regulations. The expectation is that an older existing building is not able to fully comply with current requirements but it must nonetheless satisfy community expectations in respect to fire safety of the occupants. The Fire Safety Audit recommendations reflect this approach.

3.5 Areas Not Accessible

The roof and the basement plant rooms and tunnel were not accessible and do not form part of this fire safety audit.

Building Legislation Table

Refer to our Building Legislation table for further information on the building control process.