Building Occupant Warning System

The Building Code of Australia specifies a building occupant warning system to be provided when the BCA requires a smoke hazard management system to be installed in the building. The building occupant warning system must be capable of alerting all occupants in all parts of the building to evacuate the building in an emergency. A building surveyor/ building certifier would nominate the building occupant warning system as an essential safety measure in under each state’s building legislation.

Building Code of Australia

The Building Code of Australia in clause 8 of Specification E1.5 specifies that a required sprinkler system installed in a building must be connected to and be able to activate the building occupant warning system under a building permit.

The building occupant warning system must be installed in accordance with:

  • AS 1670.1-2004 Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems – System design, installation and commissioning – Fire
  • AS1670.4-2004 Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems – System design, installation and commissioning – Sound systems and intercom systems for emergency purposes
  • AS 1259.1-1990 Acoustics – Sound level meters – Non-integrating

The following photographs depict the building occupant warning system installed in a building.

The following is a part extract of clause I1.1 for an Essential Safety Measure (as appeared in BCA 2013) known as building occupant warning system:

Table I1.8 Safety Measures – Occupant Warning Systems

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Building occupant warning system Clause 8 of Specification E1.5
Clause 6 of Specification E2.2a

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Building Occupant Warning System

The maintenance requirements for a building occupant warning system are in Section 9 of AS 1851-2005 Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment. An essential safety measures auditor should check the building surveyors/ certifiers essential safety measures determination/ schedule as to whether a building occupant warning system is installed to ensure fire safety compliance. If so the auditor should check the maintenance logbooks required under AS 1851-2005 Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment, if any inspections or testing of the building occupant warning system has not occurred or failed, then they 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.