Automatic Fire Detection and Alarm Systems

The Building Code of Australia in clause E2.2 General Requirements and clause G3.8 Fire and smoke control systems, specify the installation of automatic fire detection and alarm systems in buildings. Automatic fire detection systems ultimately are nominated as essential safety measures by a building surveyor/ building certifier in an essential safety measures schedule/ determination.

Automatic fire detection and alarm systems are designed to alert occupants of a building to the presence of fire. Generally these systems use smoke, heat or flame detectors.

Building Code of Australia

Part E2 Smoke Hazard Management and Part G3 Atrium Construction, set out the requirements for when an automatic fire detection and alarm systems are to be installed in a building under a building permit relevant to automatic fire detection.

Specification E2.2a Smoke Detection and Alarm Systems in particular contains two clauses:

  • Clause 3 Smoke alarm system, which nominates smoke alarms to comply with AS 3786-1993 Smoke alarms, and
  • Clause 4 Smoke detection system, which nominates a smoke detection system to comply with AS 1670.1-2004 Fire detection warning, control and intercom systems – System design, installation commissioning – Fire.

The following photographs depict the various automatic fire detection / alarm system panels.

The following is a part extract of clause I1.1 for an Essential Safety Measure (as appeared in BCA 2013) known as fire detection and alarm systems (automatic fire detection):

Table I1.7 Safety Measures – Automatic Fire Detection and Alarm Systems

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Smoke and heat alarm system Clause 3 of Specification E2.2a
Smoke and heat detection system Clause 4 of Specification E2.2a
Atrium fire detection and alarm system Clause 4 of Specification (automatic fire detection) E3.8

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Automatic Fire Detection and Alarm Systems

An essential safety measures schedule/ determination will nominate the presence of an automatic fire detection and alarm system installed in a building. The auditor must check the systems automatic fire detection logbooks to ensure regular inspection, testing and maintenance works are carried out to ensure fire safety compliance, and that deficiencies in the automatic fire detection system should be recorded in the building’s essential safety measures logbook to allow for signing the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate of Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement, Annual Maintenance Statement and Annual Occupiers Statement.