AUST – Emergency Plan advises that the Building Code of Australia (BCA) requires high-rise buildings to haveSound System and Intercom Systems (SSIS) for emergency purposes. The installation is required by the BCA when the building height exceeds 25m in effective height and a number of other criteria for class 3, 9a and 9b buildings. Previous to SSIS, the Sound Systems and Intercom Systems were known as Emergency Warning and Intercommunication Systems (EWIS). Either SSIS or EWIS would be nominated by a building surveyor or building certifier in an essential safety measures determination/schedule.

Building Code of Australia

The Building Code of Australia requires an SSIS to comply with AS 1670.4 – 2004 Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems –  System design, installation and commissioning – Sound Systems and Intercom Systemsfor emergency purposes. An SSIS installation comprises a master control panel usually interfaced to the building’s fire panel, warden intercom points at each exit, manual call points, a master warden control point and warning speakers distributed throughout the building to achieve a defined level of audibility above background noise.

The following is a part extract of clause I1.1 Safety Measures covering Sound Systems and Intercom Systems(SSIS):

Part extract of Clause I1.1, Table I1.1L:

Safety measureBCA provisions for determining standard of performance
Sound System and Intercom System for emergency purposesE4.9
Clause 5 of Specification G3.8

Essential Safety Measures Audit

The maintenance requirements for a Sound System and Intercom System for emergency purposes are in Section 9 and 10 respectively of AS 1851 – 2005 ‘Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment’. An essential safety measures auditor should check the building surveyors/certifiers essential safety measure determination/schedule as to whether an SSIS or EWIS is installed. If so, the auditor should check the maintenance logbooks required under AS 1851 – 2005 ‘Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment’, to determine if any inspections or testing have not occurred or failed, then they should be recorded in the building’s essential safety measureslogbook.

Work Heath Safety Legislation

Refer to our Work Health Safety Legislation Table for further statutory information on safe occupation of a building.