Fire System

Here is a brief overview of the most common fire safety systems found in buildings or the workplace.

Fire Extinguishers / Blankets

Relevant codes and standards AS2444 Portable Fire Extinguishers and Fire Blankets / AS1851 – Routine service of fire protection systems / Building Code of Australia (BCA) E1.6.
Portable fire extinguishers are your most common fire safety system required in the workplace. They are required in all workplaces and they are required to be inspected and certified every 6 months in line with AS1851 to ensure that these essential safety measures are serviceable and in working order should they be needed in a fire or emergency situation.
Southside supply and advise on type and layout of portable extinguishers and blankets as well as inspect, certify and re-charge extinguishers as required.
The chart below indicates the various types of portable fire extinguishers and their class of fire fighting abilities (uses);
Inspection routine frequency is every 6 months (with Annual and 3-5 year replacement cycles)

Fire Hose Reel

Relevant codes and standards AS2441 – Installation of fire hose reels / AS1851 – Routine service of fire protection systems / Building Code of Australia (BCA) E1.4.
Fire hose reels are a wet system designed to allow pressurised water to be used to fight fire in all areas of the building or structure where they are required to be installed.

The BCA dictates when fire hose reels are required in a building, generally they are not required in buildings with a floor size under 500 sqm (refer BCA E1.4). However, if the building is a class or type where internal hydrants are required, then a hose reel must be included (refer BCA E1.4).
Inspection routine frequency is every 6 months (with annual and flow testing requirements).

Fire Doors

Relevant codes and standards AS1905.1 – Components for the protection of openings in fire-resistant walls - Part 1: Fire-resistant doorsets / AS1851 – Routine service of fire protection systems / Building Code of Australia (BCA) Section C.
Fire doors are a passive fire safety system used in a building to contain the spread of fire through a building. They are designed to assist in buying time for occupants to escape the building and the fire brigade to arrive and fight. Fire doors are designed to achieve a level of protection in terms of time they take for a fire to burn through that door or compartment. They often require specialized locks and lever-sets to allow occupants to escape through a fire escape (path of travel).
Southside Fire audit and test fire doors as well as supply and install.
Inspection routine frequency is generally every 6 months (with annual requirements).

Fire Hydrant Systems

Relevant codes and standards – AS2419.1 Fire hydrant installations - System design, installation and commissioning/ AS1851 – Routine service of fire protection systems / Building Code of Australia (BCA) E1.3.
A Fire Hydrant system is a water supply (delivery) system with a sufficient pressure and flow delivered via pipework throughout a building or grounds to strategically located valves for fire fighting purposes.
The Fire brigade will connect hoses to this system for fire fighting as well as use the front boosters valves to increase pressure and flow to the system during a fire.

Southside Fire inspect, test and overhaul these systems.
Inspection routine frequency is every 6 months (with annual and various overhaul requirements).
Hydrant systems can be mains pressure, or they may also require a booster pump set. A pump set may comprise a combination of electric or compression ignition (diesel) motors.
Note – Diesel and electric booster pumps often require monthly inspection routines (as well as various overhaul requirements).

Sprinkler Systems

Relevant codes and standards – AS2118.1 – Automatic fire sprinkler systems / Building Code of Australia (BCA) – Section E “services and equipment” (E1.5 Sprinklers).
Automatic fire sprinkler systems (also known as a wet pipe systems) are widely regarded as the most effective method of controlling fires. Sprinkler systems are a water supply system, providing adequate pressure and flowrate through a water distribution piping system, onto which fire sprinklers heads are connected.
Often these systems are spread throughout the building, positioned mostly at the underside of roofs and in ceiling areas.
When activated this system alerts occupants via a mechanical bell operated by the flow of water oscillating a hammer that strikes a gong, causing an audible alarm. Additionally the system may be designed to trip off an alarm to a fire indicator panel (FIP) or send an alarm through alarm signaling equipment (ASE) to security monitoring or brigade.
Southside Fire inspect, test and overhaul these systems as well as alter and install. Inspection routine frequency is generally - Monthly (with 6 monthly / annual and overhaul requirements)

Automatic Fire Detection (FIP) and Occupant Warning

Relevant codes and standards – AS1670 - Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems.
Part 1 - System design, installation and commissioning.
Part 4 - Sound systems and intercom systems for emergency purposes / BCA Clause C2.3, BCA Clause E2.2 & Specification E2.2a, BCA Clause G3.8 & Specification G3.8.
The primary purpose of a fire indicator panel is to monitor each circuit or zone for any condition (alarm signal or other abnormal condition); display the status of that condition and to operate any required output or outputs according to the design of the system. These outputs are typically for the purpose of warning occupants on a fire alarm signal and notify the fire brigade.
Some fire panels are connected to the fire brigade and some are not. All still have to be tested to AS1851.
Inspection routine frequency is - Monthly, 6 monthly and annual.

Smoke and Thermal Detectors

Relevant codes and standards – AS1670 and AS3786;
There are various types of detectors used by fire panels, which are used to detect the presence of smoke and heat. If your building is under 25 metres in height, then 240V detectors can be used as a detection and occupant warning system. The BCA and AS1670 set out the criteria for this selection.

Occupant Warning Systems BOW / EWIS

Relevant codes and standards – AS2220 / BCA clause E4.9

- E WIS (Emergency Warning and Intercommunication Systems)

Relevant codes and standards – AS2220 / BCA clause E4.9
This system has warden intercom phones (WIP) located on every floor allowing Wardens or the Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) and Brigade to communicate with the relevant floors or areas in a emergency or fire. Buildings with this system should have the required warden structure (ECO) and training should take place every 6 months.
In larger buildings such as over eight levels, these systems can be powerful enough to evacuate the building floor by floor or in sections to assist with efficiency.

BOW (Building Occupant Warning)

The BOW is usually found in smaller building and has no warden intercom phone (WIP) system. Some BOW’s may or may not have a public address system. This will evacuate the buildings all at once.

Emergency and Exit Lighting

Relevant codes and standards – AS2293 – Emergency and Exit Lighting / AS1851 – Routine service of fire protection systems / Building Code of Australia (BCA) E4.
Emergency and exit lighting indicates and illuminates the path of evacuation as well location of the nearest exit point of a building. Light fittings consist of a battery-backed lighting device that comes on automatically when a building experiences a power outage which is common in the event of fire. In Australia, emergency lights and exit lights are standard in most modern Class 2 to Class 9 Buildings (BCA).

SSFS supplies, designs installs, and maintains emergency & exit lights in the workplace. We also conduct comprehensive testing of exit and emergency lights to ensure your workplace is compliant with Australian Standards AS2293. Emergency lighting requires regular duration simulation testing to ensure light, battery and globe functionality is maintained in the event of an emergency.
Inspection routine frequency requirements are every 6 months.

Evacuation Diagrams

Relevant codes and standards - AS3745 2010 Planning for emergencies in facilities.
AS3745 states that - Evacuation diagrams that provide emergency and evacuation information shall be displayed in all facilities in accordance with Clauses 3.5.2, 3.5.3, 3.5.4 and 3.5.5 which outline number of plans, location, position, orientation and minimum elements. Evacuation plans are to give occupants an orientation and location of the fire services in a building, escape routes and emergency muster points or assembly points outside building.
Evacuation diagrams are to be updated as soon as any changes occur to a buildings layout, fire services or path of travel, otherwise a 5 yearly review upgrade is required.
Southside Fire design, produce (CAD) and install EVAC Diagrams.