Occupant Warning System

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) in Table I1.8 Safety Measures – Occupant warning systems nominates “Building occupant warning system” and “Sound system and intercom system for emergency purposes” (SSIS) as essential safety measures. The nomination of an ‘occupant warning system’ for either of these types of systems to be installed in a building is selective under the BCA by the building surveyor/building certification.

Building Code of Australia

Sound System and Intercom System – Occupant Warning System

Clause E4.9 sets out the criteria on a building for when it is required to be installed with a “Sound systems and intercom systems for emergency purposes” (SSIS). Part of Clause E4.9 follows:

E4.9 Sound systems and intercom systems for emergency purposes

A sound system and intercom system for emergency purposes complying where applicable with AS 1670.4 must be installed-

Part of Clause 5 of Specification G3.8 follows:

  1. SOUND SYSTEMS AND INTERCOM SYSTEMS FOR EMERGENCY PURPOSES

All buildings containing an atrium must be provided with a sound system and intercom system for emergency purposes.

Building Occupant Warning System – Occupancy Warning System

The following Specification extracts from the BCA require a building occupant warning system to be installed.

Specification E1.5 Clause 8

  1. Building occupant warning system

A required sprinkler system must be connected to and active a building occupant warning system complying with Clause 6 of Specification E2.2a.

Specification E2.2a Clause 6

  1. Building occupant warning system

Subject to E4.9, a building occupant warning system provided as part of a smoke hazard management system must comply with clause 3.22 of AS1670.1 to could through all occupied areas except –

The following photographs depict parts of an 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 occupant warning system (SSIS).

Table I1.8 SAFETY MEASURES – OCCUPANT WARNING SYSTEMS

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Sound system and intercom system for emergency purposes

E4.9

Clause 5 of Specification G3.8

Building occupant warning system

Clause 8 of Specification E1.5

Clause 6 of Specification E2.2a

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Occupant Warning System

It can be seen from the above that the BCA is selective in nominating the installation of these two systems (building occupant warning system). When the BCA requires their presence, it is because they will perform a significant task in alerting people in an emergency. In a fire evacuation, Essential safety measures auditors to ensure fire safety compliance, must be aware that an occupant warning system is required in the building because of the nature of the building, and should look for the essential safety measures schedules/ determinations that nominates an occupant warning system as an essential safety measures. A close look at the testing of the occupant warning system and frequency is paramount and must be recorded in the essential safety measures logbook allow the signing of the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement and Annual Maintenance Statement.