AUST Hendry building surveying consultants have been involved in the building upgrade of a number of buildings containing a fire indicator panel (FIP), and we impart some important consideration for property managers who are considering an upgrade of their FIP-detection system under the Building Code of Australia. When the replacement of an FIP is contemplated and costing’s are being allocated, it is important to first establish whether the existing detectors are compatible with the new FIP. In fact, all parts of the existing installation being retained must be shown to be compatible under the Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards.
Our experiences have confirmed that in many instances it is almost inevitable that a replacement FIP cannot occur unless all detectors, some wiring and other sub-components are also replaced. Additional features may also need to be included if the building is required to comply with the Smoke Hazard Management provisions of Part E2 of the Building Code of Australia. Also, if the existing FIP is poorly positioned in the building, it would be an opportunity to have it located.
In a compliant position at the building’s main entrances as required by the Australian Standard under the Building Code of Australia. Where it is possible to simply upgrade the FIP, the new FIP must be fully commissioned and appropriate documentation retained at the FIP for Building Code of Australia compliance. It is advisable to check with your local fire services as they may have specific requirements, e.g. witness the commissioning or carry out an inspection of the works.
A commissioning test of the detector installation as a whole must occur where work involves more than replacing an FIP. A detection system including the FIP upgrade must be fully documented as required by the Building Code of Australia.
Appropriate building permits / occupancy permits, compliance with the Building Code of Australia and reconnection notices must be put in place before and during FIP or detection system replacement works.