Annual Certification FAQ’s

Does Queensland regulate for maintenance and why?

Yes there is a regulation to maintain the Fire Safety Installations within a building and thisis defined in the current legislation, regulations and appropriate standards.  Maintenance is regulated to ensure the Fire Safety Installations serving an

What items are regulated for maintenance?

The items that are regulated for maintenance include fire safety, pool safety and the items outlined in Part I of the National Construction Code.

What type of buildings is this applied to?

The buildings that are required to be maintained in regards to Essential Fire Safety Measures are all buildings except Class 1a and 10 building as outlined in Part A3.2 of the National Construction Code. This is irrespective of the size of the building. Fire Safety Installations fall under the following categories:

A. STRUCTURAL FEATURES:
  • Fire control centres
B. FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS:
  • Sprinklers (including wall-wetting sprinklers)
  • Special automatic fire suppression systems
  • (Including foam, deluge and gas flooding systems)
  • Fire detection and alarm systems
  • Stairwell pressurisation systems
  • Air handling systems
  • Smoke and heat venting systems
  • Smoke exhaust systems
C. FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT:
  • Fire mains
  • Fire hydrants (including hydrant booster)
D. OCCUPANT SAFETY FEATURES
  • Emergency warning and intercommunication systems

E. OTHER FEATURES

  • Vehicle access for large isolated buildings.
  • Any additional fire safety provision imposed by the Local Authority to combat the spread of fire.
What is the frequency of maintenance to be adopted for the Fire Safety Installations in my building?

The frequency of maintenance of Fire Safety Installations is outlined in the Queensland Development Code MP6.1. This does vary in accordance with the measure being maintained. There are a number of Fire Safety Installations that need to be regularly maintained in according with the required standards, with AS1851-2005 for Maintenance of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment being the main reference. Maintenance Records must be able to be produced on demand by an authorised Fire Officer.

How do I maintain the Fire Safety Installations in my building? Is this regulated?

The Fire Safety Installations installed within a building are regulated for maintenance by both a performance based approach and the deemed to satisfy provisions of the National Construction Code. Maintenance regimes are provided using Australian Standards and other documentation. The Australian Standard being adopted as per legislation is AS1851 – Maintenance of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment. Approved, competent contractors are to be engaged to undertake maintenance for each Fire Safety Installation within the building.

What is the regulatory approach in Queensland?

Fire Safety Installations – QDC MP6.1 sets the performance criteria and acceptable solutions.  The FRSA sets the maintenance requirements for smoke alarms in a Class 1a and 2 building Pools – Chapter 8 of the Building Act requires owners to maintain pool fencing and signage BCA Section I – Section 115 of the Building Act requires occupants to comply with the BCA, which includes Section I.

 Are the maintenance requirements the same for new and existing buildings?

Yes the legislation in Queensland applies to both new and existing buildings, which sets out the maintenance regime for the Fire Safety Installations. However, different technical standards may apply depending on the age of the building.

What are the triggers to apply these provisions to existing buildings?

There is no trigger as such as the requirements apply at all times to new and existing buildings

Are there administrative controls for the maintenance of Essential Fire Safety Measures and who is responsible for building maintenance?

Yes there are administrative controls for maintenance in Queensland and this is normally via the relevant council authority. The responsibility for ensuring that maintenance is carried out to a building rests with the building owner.

How often is verification required and who do I provide verification too?

An annual certificate of maintenance is required to be prepared annually in accordance with Division 3 Regulation Clauses 4&5 of the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008. Maintenance records are to be supplied by the contractors to the owner/occupier. The Certificate of Maintenance must be forwarded to the Commissioner of the Fire Service within each 12-month period following the first test.

Documentation of Fire Safety Installations:
1. The owner/occupier must keep a record of maintenance of fire safety installations,
containing the following details:
(i) The name and address of the person that conducted the test;
(ii) The date;
(iii) A brief description of the procedure carried out;
(iv) The results;
(v) Any corrective action required;
(vi) The date any corrective action was taken;
2. The occupier who is required to keep a record of maintenance under this section must
produce it, on demand, to an authorised Fire Officer.

Who can provide verification and are Practitioners required to be certified?

Verification is provided by an ‘appropriately qualified person’ as defined in the legislation and
yes the practitioners are to be qualified as follows:
A competent person is one who:
(i) Holds a current Certificate of Accreditation issued by the Fire Protection Contractors Registration Board of Queensland, that relates to the particular fire safety installation, e.g. fire extinguishers; or
(ii) Has other appropriate qualifications and experience to properly test and maintain the installation.

What does verification consist of?

The form of verification is via an annual certificate of maintenance, also known as an annual declaration. This document will list each Fire Safety Installation installed within a building, the appropriate maintenance standard, compliance and contractor engaged to carry out the maintenance. Sign off of the relevant Fire Safety Installation is required by the contractor to the building owner/occupier each year.

Who is responsible for monitoring and enforcing maintenance?

The local governments are primarily responsible however, for fire safety matters the QFRS monitors and enforces compliance.

What is the role of other bodies and authorities eg fire brigades, state and local governments?

Local governments and, for fire safety matters the QFRS monitors and enforces compliance.  QFRS also accept annual statement for fire safety. Local governments can also run approved inspection programs such as for pool safety and fire safety.

What penalty provisions can be enforced if my building does not comply?

If your building does not comply with legislation then PINS, fines and notices can be issued for a building.

Who is empowered to serve and enforce non-compliance notices and actions?

Local governments and, for fire safety matters the QFRS

Are there any standardized processes or forms associated?

The standard form issued each year is an annual certificate of maintenance, also known as an annual declaration which has been detailed in the relevant questions above.

Once an order or notice has been issued are there any appeal provisions in relation to the compliance, enforcement and penalty requirements?

Yes, appeals or objection provisions exist for most PINS, fines and notices.

 

 

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