The legislation that dictates Fire Compliance QLD, includes The Building Act in 1975, Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008, AS1851 and the Queensland Development Code. These apply for all buildings, except townhouses and stand alone houses. That means business owners, property managers, and landlords have to adhere to Fire Compliance rules and regulations. The penalties for non-compliance include hefty fines and the possibility of jail time.
Main Components of Fire Compliance
One of the main components of compliance is to include fire safety installations (FSI) in all buildings. Specific requirements depend on the size and use of the building. Basic installations include smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and exit signs. Others may be a sprinkler system, emergency lighting, and an automatic ventilation system that activates in case of smoke infiltration or fire. Factories that use chemicals, for example, will probably need a ventilation system.
Another component is an Annual Occupiers Statement. This has to be renewed annually, and a copy sent to the Commissioner of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Services. It is the responsibility of the business or property owner to ensure the new statement arrives before the previous one expires. Failure to do so, even though requirements are met, will not count as complete compliance under the legislation.
Owners have to review the fire and safety evacuation plan with people who use the building, and have a practice drill for evacuations. A responsible person can be appointed and trained to make sure these annual requirements are met. When that person is selected, that information has to be documented. If that is not completed, the owner will remain the contact person for the Fire and Rescue Services. Designating a person to handle compliance allows the owner to focus on other management duties.
It is also necessary to check and document that designated evacuation routes are still safe, and remain clear of obstacles and debris. A fire escape, for example, must be clear of blockages such as bins, boxes etc. The evacuation route should be reevaluated if it cannot be kept clear. If renovations were completed, the evacuation troute has to be modified to include the new part of the building.
How to Ensure Compliance
There is a lot to do to maintain compliance with fire safety rules and regulations. It is easy to forget a component. There is also the possibility of leaving out crucial documentation. An incomplete statement will not result in a Fire Compliance Certificate.
There are companies that provide services to help owners comply with rules, and complete a proper occupiers statement every year. FCF Fire and Electrical, for example, provide and install all the fire safety equipment needed for any size building. They are aware of all requirements, and know what exactly is needed for the building. A sprinkler system may not be required for a small office building that has one floor.
The number of fire extinguishers, for example, is based on the number of levels, the occupancy rate, and the layout of the building. A small building with two floors may only need three extinguishers. A large building with several floors and different wings will require a lot more. If there are not enough extinguishers in the building, the statement will be rejected. That will render the owner out of compliance.
We can also conduct training for designated responsible persons, and conduct the annual review of the evacuation plan. Services also include conducting the evacuation practice drill. We can assist your business or company and help owners compile all the information needed for that statement. They can review the final reports and make sure everything is included. Penalties for non-compliance are much higher than paying for services that ensure compliance.
For further assistance contact FCF Fire and Electrical today.