There seems to be confusion throughout the entire Strata industry in Queensland concerning the requirements for testing fire equipment. Many Strata Managers are being told by fire service companies that their Bodies Corporate need to set aside significant money each year for increased testing of fire equipment.
So what is the truth?
All buildings, apart from class 1a and 10, must abide by the following regulations:
- Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008
- Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (unless purely residential)
- Australian Standard:
- AS1851 – 2012
- AS/NSZ2293.2 -1995
- AS/NZS2419.1 – 2005
- AS2118.1 – 1999
- AS2118.4 -2012
- AS218.6 – 2012
Changes to Regulations
In May 2014, MP6.1 changed with an implementation date of 1 July 2014 but with a transition period to 1 January 2015. Thus by 1 January 2015, the new MP6.1 must be followed.
The major change was to ensure all fire services are maintained in accordance with AS1851 – 2012 except for Fire Resistance Door Sets, (fire doors, fire shutter) and smoke doors where the testing is less than AS1851.
The major change that affects all buildings is the need to identify and inspect passive fire systems, including: penetrations, fire walls and ceilings. This will impact greatly upon all building owners and Strata sites.
Fire Testing Requirements
The below table of the most common fire protection elements will give you a listing of equipment and the new testing requirements.
|Equipment||Testing required per Building Class|
|5, 6, 9a, 9c||1b, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9b|
|Emergency lighting||6 Monthly||6 Monthly|
|Emergency warning and intercommunication systems5||Monthly||Monthly|
|Exit signs||6 Monthly||6 Monthly|
|Emergency Management Plan||6 Monthly||6 Monthly – except for class 1b and 2|
|Fire and Evacuation Plan||Yearly – only for class 1b and 2|
|Fire detection and alarm systems||Monthly||Monthly|
|Fire Blankets||6 Monthly||6 Monthly|
|Fire doorsets||6 Monthly||Yearly|
|Fire extinguishers||6 Monthly||6 Monthly|
|Fire hose reels||6 Monthly||6 Monthly|
|Fire hydrants (including boosters)||6 Monthly||6 Monthly|
|Fire shutters||6 Monthly||Yearly|
|Fire Pump Sets||Monthly||Monthly|
|Lay Flat Hose||Yearly||Yearly|
|Passive Fire Systems
|Smoke doorsets||6 Monthly||Yearly|
|Smoke exhaust systems||Monthly||Monthly|
|Solid core doors||6 Monthly||Yearly|
|Special automatic fire suppression systems||Monthly||Monthly|
|Stairwell pressurisation systems||Monthly||Monthly|
|Water Storage Tanks for Fire Protection||Monthly||Monthly|
Major Change Affecting You
The biggest change that is affecting all buildings is the requirement to inspect your Passive Fire Systems such as Walls, ceilings, and penetrations.
To save money you should consider implementing the following.
- Obtain copy of construction plans;
- Identify all passive fire systems in the building;
- Develop a register of all passive fire systems within the building;
- Label each item of passive fire within the building;
- Contact a fire maintenance contractor to obtain quote to undertake inspection of the passive fire systems within the building based upon your register;