AUST – Essential Property Services performed a Fire Systems Functional Interface Test (building audit) for an authorities building. The building audit was undertaken by relevantly qualified and experienced staff. The testing is intended to prove and verify a functional interface of the fire systems and fire systems capacity to perform in accordance with the matrix provided and the Building Code of Australia.

This part extract of our building audit will provide those responsible with ensuring the safety of the occupants in a building containing multiple interfaced/ dependent life safety systems guidance on what is expected when having a position that requires this type of testing to be performed.

Fire Systems Functional Interface Test Executive Summary Report Building Audit

Building Audit

Fire Systems Functional Interface Test






Prepared by:

Essential Property Services Pty Ltd


Building Audit Page X

Fire Systems Functional Interface Test Executive Summary Report Building Audit


Building Audit Aim

The testing in this building audit is intended to prove and verify all functional interfaces of the fire systems and the fire systems capacity to perform in accordance with the matrix provided by XXX. This would allow the systems to operate to a standard that was intended at the time of installation and subsequent commissioning.

All deficiencies are identified individually on the attached building audit data/ test sheets provided by XXX. The testing is intended to assist with the documentation of a rectification program for the fire safety measures and related systems that did not function in accordance with the matrix or to an acceptable standard.

Where the matrix could not be applied and/ or was not documented to include areas if the building performance criteria relevant to standards where applied to the testing scope i.e.:

  • AS 1851-2005 ‘Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment’
  • AS/NZS 1668.1-1998 ‘The use of ventilation and air conditioning in buildings – Fire and smoke control in multi-compartment buildings’
  • BCA Volume 1 – Part I


Building Audit – Building Details

Job No: XXX
Address: Building XXX
Levels: XXX
Date of Test: XXX-XXX
Time Commenced: XXX
Time completed: XXX


Certificate of Classification Details

BCA Classification: XXX
Alternative Solutions: NA – Building Code of Australia Volume 1 including the relevant parts of Amendment 9 and 12 and the relevant Australian Standards.

Building Audit Page X

Fire Systems Functional Interface Test Executive Summary Report Building Audit

Interfaced Prescribed Fire Safety Measures


Automatic Fail Safe Devices XXX
Emergency Warning and
Intercommunication Systems
Automatic Fire Detection and Alarm System XXX
Fire Hydrant Systems XXX
Automatic Fire Suppression System
(Basement Car Park)
Smoke Dampers XXX
Fire Dampers XXX
Fire Doors XXX
Mechanical Air Handling Systems XXX
Stairway Pressurisation System XXX
Zone Smoke Control System XXX
Required Automatic Exit Doors XXX
Smoke Detectors XXX
Standby Power Supply (not tested as part of the integrated test between XXX and XXX).


Building Audit Page X


Fire Systems Functional Interface Test Executive Summary Report Building Audit

Building Audit Testing Team

Essential Property Services was engaged to oversee and witness a full function fire systems test at XXX that was undertaken by relevantly qualified and experienced technicians simultaneously

  • 4 technicians from XXX
  • 7 technicians from XXX
  • XXX – On-Site Staff

Project/ Testing team

XXX Coordinator XXX
XXX Coordinator XXX
Essential Property Services Coordinator XXX
XXX Coordinator XXX

Essential Property Service (EPS) allocated two (2) staff members onsite for the duration of the testing i.e. – One person (XXX) in the main fire control room in Building XXX and one in the field observing mechanical smoke control operation and detection device testing including some observation of the main fire control centre operations.

Testing was facilitated in a coordinated manner between the technical staff of XXX and XXX with the use of two way radios, mobile phones and WIPs. Full fire trip/ mode testing was predominantly undertaken over a 3 day period between XXX and XXX however there was further testing undertaken by XXX on XXX, i.e. further alarm initiating device testing and a test of the fire sprinkler system.

The alarms were generally initiated by XXX in the field, i.e. individually in each fire and smoke zone. Simultaneously technical staff from XXX and XXX monitored and recorded the effect on functionally interfaced mechanical systems, the signalling to control panels in the plant rooms, main fire control room and the fire indicator panels in the fire control centre in Building XXX and Building XXX.

Building Audit – Test Criteria

XXX have facilitated a functional fire system interface test to confirm that all functional interfaces relative to the buildings fire systems function in accordance with the fire matrix provided by XXX (the matrix).

Building Audit Tested Systems

Test of 100% of the fire detection systems smoke detection, thermal detection devices, and break glass alarm devices including duct probes inside air handling system ducts, i.e. all alarm initiating devices. Each fire and smoke zone was tested individually to verify actual cause and effect in each fire and smoke zone.

Testing of fire and smoke dampers forming part of the smoke control system (dampers mechanical testing verified at an earlier date. Report to be provided by XXX

Test 100% of the self closing fire and smoke resisting doors in fire trip, i.e. ensure correct closure in GFA per the matrix.

Test 100% of the fail safe egress doors to facilitate safe egress from the building in fire mode. i.e. ensure free access was provided through all doors in GFA in accordance with the matrix.

Test and verify the cause and effect with respect to mechanical smoke control in accordance with the matrix while the building is in GFA. Each fire and smoke zone was tested individually to verify actual cause and effect in each fire and smoke zone.

Functional testing of level XXX fire sprinkler system in accordance with best practice, i.e. AS 1851 (the matrix is exclusive of level XXX)

Functional testing of stairwell pressurisation system including door pressure differentials, opening forces and noise assessment (testing standard is AS 1668 as the matrix did not include a cause and effect for the stairwell pressurisation system.

Testing of all fire and smoke zones for air pressure differentials whilst the building was in fire mode. All fire and smoke zones were tested in accordance with the matrix.

Functional test of the EWIS was conducted and all areas of the building were assessed i.e. verification of cascading, volume testing and WIP operation in full building GFA.
Verification of the correct operation and signalling on all fire indicator panels

  • Main panel (XXX)
  • Mimic panels (XXX)
  • Fire control centre

: Fire indicator panel
: Fire fan control
: Graphic system
: Damper control


Exclusion from testing on and in between XXX and XXX was:

  • Standby power supply (testing to be scheduled)
  • Exit signs and emergency lighting (not applicable for this test)

Building Audit Page X


Detailed reports – XXX

  • Essential smoke control services – System Functionally Test chart
  • XXX – Full Function Test results (HVAC) – XXX – Summary of findings
  • Fire/ smoke compartment zone pressure differentials
  • Duct Probe – Smoke Detector Test results
  • Fire Isolated Pressurisation – Test results

Detailed reports – XXX

  • Summary Report – XXX – Fire alarm/ EWIS System Functionality Test
  • Functionality Test check sheets
  • Graphic System log – all activities during test
  • Annual Test Report – EWIS
  • Annual Test Report – Fire Detection System
  • Annual Test Report – Fire Hydrant System


General Observations by EPS

In general terms the systems appeared to operate in accordance with the matrix, i.e. created a pressure differential between fire and smoke zones with appropriate effects on plant and equipment however a number of deficiencies exist that require rectification. There are also a number of queries requiring further investigation. Refer to attached XXX check sheets for specific equipment and zone pressurisation results. From a visual observation the zone pressure differentials were higher than necessary to provide adequate compartmentation. The effects of excessive pressures had an impact on the operation of self closing doors, lifts and stairwell pressurisation.

A noted effect of excessive air pressure was that lift doors would not close full causing delays with lift transportation of building occupants during the testing. It is advisable to recalibrate the fans and air volumes to reduce the impacts on lift doors and self closing smoke and fire doors. Refer to detailed report attached on fire and smoke zone pressure differentials as documented by XXX.


Testing commenced at approximately XXX. The test results indicate some deficiencies exist at the XXX  and XXX. Consideration should be given to installation of improved indicators should an evacuation or alert situation exists, i.e. Installation of strobes above mimic panels or a clearer or louder buzzer on mimic panels at XXX. Ideally speakers should be installed in all areas of the building however it is expected given the nature of the occupancy that indication is only required at XXX.

Mechanical Services

Generically a number of issues relating to queries have been raised by XXX with respect to the matrix:

  1. Status with respect to XXX – zone 4 cause and effect in fire trip
  2. Some errors appear to exist with the matrix in respect to functionality of mechanical ventilation systems. XXX has identified a number of queries that require investigation. Refer to XXX report from testing commenced XXX.
  3. Queries on the correct operation of XXX for car park exhaust
  4. XXX – operates in low and XXX operate in all fire zones except XXX
  5. XXX seeks clarification on status of XXX and XXX
  6. Clarification is required on the design criteria for the stairwell pressurisation system for inclusion into the matrix

The above items relate to queries with the fire matrix as opposed to programming, maintenance and commissioning issues. It is recommended that consultation is sought with XXX to address the issues and queries with respect to the functionality of the mechanical ventilation systems. This would be beneficial for the future testing programs.

A number of what appears to be programming or commissioning issues exist that require investigation by XXX in conjunction with XXX as part of a rectification program:

  • ZPF – failed to stop
  • SEF – failed to operate
  • AHU – operates when zone fire affected
  • SEF – VSD’s not wired
  • ZPF – failed to operate
  • AHU – duct probe/ failed to stop unit
  • Excessive zone differential pressures, i.e. exceeding maximum pressures specified in AS 1668.1-1998
  • Access is required to be facilitated for dampers (fire and smoke), i.e. installation where required, of access panels, etc.

Fire Detection and Alarm System

The 100% test of detection and initiating devices has identified a number of issues that require rectification or investigation.

Issues that require rectification:

  • Numerous issues relating maintenance or commissioning problems or device failures exist – refer to XXX Essential Actions Report pages X-X and Functionality Test checklist.

Building Audit issues that are of a general compliance nature include:

  • Various areas within XXX do not have EWIS speakers installed
  • Insufficient above ceiling space detection devices have been installed. Refer to XXX.
  • Insufficient detection devices have been installed in several locations

Issues that are of a general maintenance/ operational nature include:

Refer to detailed report attached as provided by XXX after the conclusion of the testing.

  • Level X – Zone X and X – devices potentially crossed over, i.e. device in zone 1 cause an effect contrary to matrix
  • Not all indicator lamps operate – including in lamp test on fire fan control panel
  • Some switches on fire fan control panel do not override auto mode
  • SPF – does not seem to interface to any detection device
  • FCU and FCU does not appear to indicate on fire fan control panel
  • Level X – Zone X is not included in the matrix, however activation of smoke/ thermal devices creates a fire trip in the building and a mechanical systems effect on various levels.
  • Level X – is not included in the matrix however there is an effect on EWIS. It is unclear what response is appropriate when the smoke/ thermal device is activated – similarly what affect fire sprinkler system should have on the rest of the building.
  • Fire fan control panel appears to have some faults – i.e. a number of lamps not indicating and controls on a number of mechanical equipment not functioning.

Fire Suppression Systems (Fire Hydrant System)

The fire hydrant system was tested on XXX. A number of issues were identified by XXX as either non compliances or maintenance deficiencies:

  • Hydrant pump anti-tamper valve (fail)
  • Hydrant pump run and fail indicators (fail)
  • FIP batteries due for replacement
  • Block plan require replacement (missing)
  • Investigation required for software issues with FIP


The building transportation system (lifts) is not included as part of the matrix nor are there any apparent functional interfaces. The fire trip in the building did not appear to effect lift services. An observation during testing was that excessive air pressures in the building caused lift doors not to close fully and created delays in time lifts take to traverse levels. Given the nature of the occupancy requiring lift access even in a fire situation by the fire brigade it is important that the issues relating to lift access delays are investigated and where possible rectified or impacts reduced.

Self Closing Fire/ Smoke Door and Egress Doors

Self closing fire and smoke doors were observed to release and close in accordance with the matrix. Excessive air pressures in various locations caused doors to not fully close in some cases. Refer to XXX  Zone Pressurisation testing report for areas of excessive pressures.

All egress doors (failsafe latching devices) with electronic fail safe devices were checked while building was in fire trip. All doors released to provide free access to paths of travel to exits or final exits in accordance with the matrix and the Building Code of Australia C3.8, D2.21 Spec. C3.4.

Fire Sprinkler System (Level X)

The fire sprinkler system serving the level X was tested as part of the testing by XXX – i.e. flow switch and anti-tamper valve at mains manifold were operated and initiated a response on the fire indicator panel and initiated electric pump. Anti-tamper valve and flow switches in the field require testing as they were not tested as part of the Full Function Testing. XXX to provide their test report on field devices on level X. It should be noted that functional outputs (electric pump) from the fire control panel for building X and X were isolated during the testing to avoid a fire trip in Building X.


Building Legislation Table

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