AUST –  HENDRY building surveyors issue a reminder to property managers and real estate agents that engaging a competent Specialist Maintenance Contractor to test, audit and service all fire safety installations, essential safety measures or fire safety measures contained within a building is essential and a mandatory requirement under most State regulations.

Most building owners and occupiers within commercial buildings engage contractors to manage the testing, maintenance and audit of active prescribed fire safety installations or essential safety measures such as SSIS for emergency purposes, sprinkler and suppression systems, etc. Building owners and occupiers however, also need a contractor auditing process to protect the owner’s interests. Active prescribed fire safety installations or essential safety measures are easily observed and generally familiar to most people. However, not always familiar to building owners and occupiers are mechanical fire systems that are interfaced with active fire systems as a part of a fire engineered solution under the Building Code of Australia (BCA) such as roof smoke vents, fire dampers and shutters, etc., and these are usually revealed in a contractor auditing process.

These systems are required to operate on activation of a fire alarm to assist in preventing fire spread and enabling greater and safer evacuation times in larger buildings.

It is essential that owners and occupiers ensure they are familiar with the active and passive fire safety installations or essential safety measures within their buildings, and furthermore to know if there are any fire engineered solutions that are required to be not only interfaced with the active systems, but also tested and maintained in conjunction with these systems.

Owners and occupants should ensure that when they engage a specialist maintenance contractor that not only do they have the appropriately qualified electrical or hydraulic technicians to test, audit and maintain the fire safety installations or essential safety measures, but also a qualified mechanical technician as well to ensure that mechanical fire protection systems operate as designed on activation of a detection or suppression system.

It may be prudent to occassionally audit the work performed by the maintenance contractor via contractor auditing, to ensure the outcomes that are purported to be provided by the contractor satisfy the owners conditions for signing the Annual Fire Safety Statement, the Annual Essential Safety Measures Report, or Annual Occupiers Statement.

Building Legislation Table

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