VIC – HENDRY building surveyors advise that commercial building owners and managers of older buildings in alpine resorts alpine building standards require that the installation of hard wired smoke detection which is mandatory for most classes of buildings under the Building Regulations 2006 found in alpine resorts or holiday destinations in Victoria.

Don’t get caught out by the changes to the building regulations that introduced more stringent fire safety precautions for certain residential accommodation buildings in Victoria built prior to 1997, known as the alpine building standards.

The building regulations (alpine building standards) were aimed at reducing the impact of building fires and related injuries or deaths. Regulation 709 of the Building Regulations 2006 requires certain Class 9a residential care buildings, Class 1b or 3 buildings to have hard-wired smoke alarms or a smoke detection system installed in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).  This was mandatory from June 2006 or within 30 days of the sale of the building, whichever was earlier.

This building regulation only applied to buildings constructed (or for which a building permit was issued) before1 August 1997, at buildings constructed after this date area already required to include provisions of a compliant system.

Building Regulations 2006

709 Hard-wired smoke alarms or detection system

(1) This regulation applies to –

(a) a Class 9a building that is a residential care building; and

(b) a Class 1b or 3 building-

constructed or for which a building approval or building permit was granted before1 August 1997.

(2) The following must be installed in a building to which this regulation applies-

(a) smoke alarms complying with AS 3786 – 1993 Smoke alarm, published 13 April 1993, as published from time to time, in appropriate locations on or near the ceiling of every storey of the building and powered from the mains electricity power supply, if there is such a supply to the building; or

(b) a smoke detection system complying with AS 1670.1 – 2004 Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems – System design, installation and commissioning – Part 1: Fire, published 29 April 2004, as published from time to time.

(3) The installation and the appropriate locations of smoke alarms referred to in sub regulation (2)(a) must be in accordance with Practice Note 2006-27 issued by the Building Commission on May 2006.

(4) For the purposes of sub regulation (3), Practice Not 2006-27 must be applied to a Class 9a residential care building as if the building were a Class 3 building.

(5) A smoke detection system referred to in sub regulation (2)(b) must be connected to, and be designed to activate, a building occupant warning system complying with clause 6 of Specification E2.2a of Volume One of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

(6) For the purposes of sub regulation (5), clause 6 of Specification E2.2a of Volume One of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) must be applied to a Class 1b building as if the building were a class 3 building.

Building Legislation Table

Refer to our Building Legislation Table for further information on the building permit process including the certificate of occupancy and the AESMR.

Further Advice

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