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AUST – Hendry advises that fire alarm systems (essential safety measures) detect the presence of fire (heat and smoke) and raise an alarm to alert the occupiers of a building to the fire. Heat sensors and smoke detectors are integrated to most fire alarm systems. Building surveyors and building certifiers nominate in essential safety measures schedules/ determinations either ‘fire detectors and alarm systems’ or fire alarm systems.

Building Code of Australia
Part E2 Smoke Hazard Management of the Building Code of Australia specifies the buildings required to have a smoke management system and the smoke detection system (fire alarm system) to operate in accordance with AS/NZS 1668.1-1998 ‘The use of ventilation and air-conditioning in buildings – Fire and smoke control in multi-compartment buildings’.

The following part extract of the Building Code of Australia describes the installation requirements of smoke detection/ control systems:

Specification E2.2a

Smoke Detection and Alarm Systems

  1. Scope – This Specification describes the installation and operation of automatic smoke detection and alarm systems.
  2. Smoke alarm system
  3. Smoke detection system

Specification G3.8

Fire and Smoke Control Systems in Buildings Containing Atriums

4. Fire Detection and Alarm Systems
4.1 General requirements

Except when superseded by this Specification, automatic fire detection and alarm systems in a building containing an atrium must comply with AS 1670.1.
Table I1.7 Safety measures (part extract) depicts the essential safety measures a building surveyor/ certifier would nominate in an essential safety measure schedule/ determination for a fire alarm system:

Table I1.5 Safety Measures – Automatic Fire Detection and Alarm Systems

Safety Measure BCA provisions for determining standard of performance
Smoke and heat alarm system
Smoke and heat detection system
Atrium fire detection and alarm systems
Clause 3 of Specification E2.2a
Clause 4 of specification E2.2a
Clause 4 of specification G3.8a


Essential Safety Measures Audit

An essential safety measures auditor must be aware of those buildings under the Building Code of Australia that require the installation of a fire alarm system at building permit, construction certificate, building licence or building approval stage. The auditor should seek out the mandatory logbook as required under AS 1851-2005 ‘Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment’ Part 8 ‘Automatic fire detection and alarm systems’ and check the inspection, testing and maintenance regime, and reporting the outcome in the building’s essential safety measures logbook.