AUST – Emergency Plan advises that 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 systemfor emergency purposes” or SSIS as essential safety measures. The nomination for either of these types of systems to be installed in a building is selective under the BCA.

Building Code of Australia

The following is an extract of Table I1.8 in Part I1 Equipment and Safety Installations. This table shows the standard of performance (maintenance requirements) required for each system.

Safety measureBCA provisions for determining standard of performance
Sound system and intercom system for emergency purposesE4.9
Clause 5 of Specification G3.8
Building occupant warning systemClause 8 of Specification E1.5
Clause 6 of Specification E2.2a

Sound System and Intercom 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

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:


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

Note: For a comprehensive article on SSIS click here.

Building Occupant Warning System

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

Specification E1.5 Clause 8

8. 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

6. Building occupant warning system

Subject to E4.9, a building occupant warning system provided as part of a smoke hazard management systemmust comply with clause 3.22 of AS 1670.1 to provide coverage through all occupied areas except-

Essential Safety Measure Audit

It can be seen from the above that the BCA is selective in nominating the installation of these two systems. When the BCA requires their presence, it is because they will perform a significant task in alerting people in an emergency under an emergency plan. Emergency Plan trainers must be aware that these systems are required in the building because of the nature of the building, and should look for the statutory documentation that nominates them as in essential safety measure. A close look at the testing of the systems and frequency is paramount.

Work Health Safety Legislation

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