AUST – Essential Property Services advises that commercial building owners, managers and contractors need to be aware that an annual System Interface Test (better known as Full Function Fire Systems Test) is now mandatory where the requirements of Australian Standard AS1851 – 2005 are applicable as essential safety measures.

To better facilitate operational reliability of fire protection systems, amendments were made to AS1851 – 2005 ‘Maintenance of Fire Protection Equipment and Systems’ to include a requirement for building owners, managers and contractors to complete a System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test annually. This means where fire systems are interfaced with other building systems, these interfaces must be tested annually through a System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test, before signing the annual maintenance statement.

Essential Property Services provides a System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test service that results in a report that addresses the multitude of compliancy requirements of the various applicable Standards involved, and meets the requirements of AS 1851 – 2005.

Since a System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test may be disruptive to building operations, it is recommended that the building owner or building owner’s representative engage an independent and suitably experienced consultant such as EPS to minimise the time taken to complete the System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test, and to communicate with building owners or building owner’s representative, managers and contractors to coordinate and manage the testing of the interfaced fire protection systems.

Depending on the size and type of occupancy, the System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test may require the services of a mechanical and hydraulic engineer, technicians specialising in fire alarms, sprinklers, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning), electrical power and control and building management systems. Accurate fire protection system interface documentation is critical to facilitating a successful System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test and must be provided, obtained or created prior to the System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test commencing.

Refer to Table 1 for a basic example of a System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test diagram/ matrix that identifies systems in a commercial building that may be functionally interfaced. Following on from this type of basic diagram will be a more complex matrix that provides for a strategy and cause and effect chart that benchmarks the System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test.

Types of System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test Documentation Required:

  • Drawings – Mechanical Services, Electrical, Fire Services and Building Transportation.
  • Equipment Schedules – Mechanical Services, Electrical and Fire Services, Building Transportation.
  • Current Fire Matrix
  • Current System Cause and Effect Charts Specifying the Design Criteria
  • Specifications for zone and floor pressurisation

Basic System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test Procedure (typical)

Automatic sprinkler and smoke alarm systems when activated in specific ways automatically cause operation of interfaced systems such as:

  • Stair pressurisation systems
  • Release fire doors
  • Operate roof vents to permit smoke to escape
  • Shutdown non-fire essential plant
  • Operate elevator override controls
  • Automatically cause fire pump sets to operate

The criteria and methods of initiating the System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test are specified in AS1851 – 2005 under the respective sections for each type of fire safety installation. In order to comply with the requirements of AS 1851 – 2005, through the System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test, all of the System Interfaces must be verified as operational.

A System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test is an opportune time, whilst all of the services contractors are onsite to check your systems capacity to do annual flow, hydrostatic, sandwich and stairwell pressurisation testing, to ensure your services meet their design criteria.

Table 1

SystemStair
Pressur
-isation
Door
Releases
Roof
Vents
EWISPlant
Shut-down
Fire
Pumps
Fire/
Smoke
Dampers
SprinklersXXXXXXX
FIPXXXXXXX
Smoke
Detection
XXXXXXX
Gaseous
Supp-
ression
.X.XX..
Hydrants.....X.
Hose Reels.....X.
Kitchen
Fire
Supp-
ression
.X.XX..

Essential Property Services has provided independent supervision and coordination of System Interface Test/ Full Function Fire Systems Test for a number of clients at major and complex facilities, and is well placed to service the needs of building owners and managers.

Building Legislation Table

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

2016-12-20T14:52:29+00:00
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