Essential fire safety measures

Essential fire safety measures are the life and fire safety systems required by the Building Code of Australia to be installed in boarding houses, hostels, bed and breakfasts, commercial, industrial and public buildings to ensure the safety of occupants within the building in the event of a fire or emergency.

The legislation lists statutory fire safety measures as:

  • access panels, doors and hoppers to fire-resisting shafts
  • automatic fail-safe devices
  • automatic fire detection and alarm systems
  • automatic fire suppression systems
  • emergency lifts
  • emergency lighting
  • emergency warning and intercommunication systems
  • exit signs
  • fire control centres and rooms
  • fire dampers
  • fire doors
  • fire hose reel systems
  • fire hydrant systems
  • fire seals protecting openings in fire-resisting components of the building
  • fire shutters
  • fire windows
  • lightweight construction
  • mechanical air handling systems
  • perimeter vehicle access for emergency vehicles
  • portable fire extinguishers
  • safety curtains in proscenium openings
  • smoke alarms and heat alarms
  • smoke and heat vents
  • smoke dampers
  • smoke detectors and heat detectors
  • smoke doors
  • solid core doors
  • standby power systems
  • wall-wetting sprinkler and drenching systems
  • warning and operational signs

Legislation mandates that essential fire safety measures must be maintained:

Routine service frequencies for each section
AS 1851 Section
 Monthly Three-monthly Six-monthly
 Yearly Five-yearly
 25-yearly  30-yearly
 2  Automatic fire sprinkler systems
 3  Fire pumpsets
 4  Fire hydrant systems
 Hydrant valves
 5 Water storage tanks for fire protection systems
 6  Fire detection and alarm system
 7  Special hazard systems
 8  Delivery lay flat fire hose
 9  Fire hose reels
 10  Portable and wheeled fire extinguishers
 11  Fire blankets
 12  Passive fire and smoke systems
 13  Fire and smoke control features of mechanical services
 14  Emergency planning in facilities

* where pumpsets are fitted

** where horizontal sliding doors are fitted

Note: The responsible entity may elect to conduct monthly activities on a weekly frequency.

There can be other essential fire safety measure listed for your building/premises depending on whether alternate solutions have been considered as part of the construction of the building or premise.

How do you know what's installed in your building?

A fire safety schedule, interim/final fire safety certificate or annual fire safety statement issued for the building lists all the essential fire safety measures that are installed in the building and the performance standard to which each of those measures must be capable of operating.