ACT – HENDRY building surveyors advise that under Building Regulations, fire appliances and safety installations must be maintained in accordance with the Emergencies Act 2004, Emergencies Regulations 2004 and the Building Code of Australia (BCA) resulting from the issue of a building approval.

Current Situation

The Emergencies Act 2004 and Emergencies Regulation 2004 contain provisions for a person/ the owner of the premises to repair or replace a fire appliance that has been damaged or is defective and for the owner of the premises to ensure that fire doorssmoke doors or exit doors perform as intended, i.e. essential services inspections.

Division 5.4.1 of the Act gives the Chief Officer (CO) extensive powers to issue an improvement notice, occupancy notice or closure notice to a property to if he considers:

  • The premises
  • Anything at the premises
  • The lack or inadequacy of fire measures or fire safety systems

act_ann_verif_certAn improvement notice must state the action required to reduce the risk and the required time frame. An Occupancy Notice states the maximum number of people to be on the premises. A closure notice restricts the people who can occupy the premises.                                                                                                                                                               The CO can direct the occupy for the provision or installation of a fire appliance at the premises.                                                                                                                             Division 5.4.2 details the offences relating to premises for:

  • Failure to display improvement notice
  • Failure to comply with improvement notice
  • Failure to comply with directions about fire appliances or maintaining the appliances to a reasonable standard
  • Removal or damage to fire appliances
  • Obstruction of passageway door, etc.

Division 8.1 of the Building Act 2004 confirms the Building Code of Australia is the required code of construction. In the absence of other legislation, Part I of the BCA specifies the safety measures and maintenance required.

Application

Applicable to all class 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 buildings (in leased buildings, the owner is responsible for compliance).

Recommendations

  1. Compile a list of “fire appliances” and “safety installations” from building approvals installed in the building.
  2. Ensure statutory requirements of the regulations are met for all “fire appliances” and “safety installations” to be tested and maintained in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards and BCA provisions.
  3. Develop and implement a logbook that meets the objectives of the BCA and the requirements of the FBA in recording all pertinent information on maintenance and testing.

Building Legislation Table

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

Fire Safety Compliance: Essential Services

Refer to our Essential Services identification table for further information on individual Essential Services which are incorporated in the annual verification certificate.