A smart Australian business owner will want to keep employees productive. There are many ways to accomplishing this. First, there is a need for proper compensation and paid leave. Secondly and most importantly, employees should have a safe workplace. A major part of workplace safety is fire safety compliance according to the various standards.
Australian business owners need to install fire protection systems. Installation is not enough. There is also need for maintenance of fire equipment according to AS 1851. This stands for Australian Standards 1851. AS 1851 is a set of rules and regulations that emphasizes on regular inspection, test, survey and maintenance of fire equipment to make sure they adhere to the necessary safety standards.
Why Maintain Fire Equipment?
Fire equipment maintenance in relation to AS 1851 and other standards facilitates effectiveness and reliability of equipment. Without maintenance, there is no assured performance.
All equipment depreciates. They are subject to wear and tear. Maintenance deals with the depreciation aspect making fire equipment to be in top condition ready for an emergency. Fire equipment worn out beyond maintenance needs a replacement.
The Different Australian Standards for Maintenance of Fire Equipment
AS 1851 is the main Australian national standard for maintenance of fire equipment. There are also other standards such as BCA 2.23, AS2845 and AS2293.4 among others.
The different standards address the issue of frequency of maintenance. Frequency can be monthly, after three months, biannual, yearly or after five years.
1. BCA D 2.23
This deals with the yearly maintenance of ramps, passageways, and stairways. The purpose of this standard is to ensure that these paths of travel are suitable for fire escape.
Inspection and testing of backflow preventers happen on a yearly basis according to this standard.
Exit and emergency lights need maintenance on a biannual basis. Testing and inspection should comply with AS2293.4.
This is concerned with the yearly foam concentration testing.
5. AS 1851 Section 2
Maintenance of automatic fire sprinkler systems happens according to this standard. Maintenance should happen on a monthly basis. The inspector should record the results of each maintenance exercise in a logbook that should remain at the inspection site.
6. AS 1851 Section 3
This deals with the monthly maintenance and inspection of electric and diesel fire hydrant booster pumps.
7. AS 1851 Section 4
A fire hydrant system requires inspection on a six months basis according to AS 1851 Section 4. An unassisted flow test of this system should take place every year and pressure test & assisted flow test, after every five years.
8. AS 1851 Section 5
Inspection and testing of water storage tanks for fire protection systems must comply with AS 1851 Section 5. This maintenance measure happens every month.
9. AS 1851 Section 6
This section deals with maintenance of fire detection and alarm systems. This is a monthly maintenance measure.
10. AS 1851 Section 7
This addresses the monthly inspection and testing of special hazard systems.
11. AS 1851 Section 9
Fire hose reel system monthly maintenance
12. AS 1851 Section 10
This standard deals with the biannual maintenance of wheeled and portable fire extinguishers.
13. AS 1851 Section 11
The testing and inspection of portable fire blankets happen according to AS 1851 Section 11, on a biannual basis.
14. AS 1851 Section 12
This is concerned with the maintenance of fire dampers, fire doors, and fire barriers. This maintenance exercise should happen after every three months.
15. AS 1851 Section 13
Fire and smoke control features of mechanical features need testing and inspection after every three months according to this standard.
16. AS 1851 Section 14
Inspection of emergency planning in facilities happens according to this section on a biannual basis.
The Types of Equipment That Need Maintenance
• Wheeled extinguishers
• Portable extinguishers
• Fire door sets
• Fire monitoring systems
• Hose reels
• Halon 1301
• Pump sets
• Pyrogen aerosols
• Smoke alarms
• Water mist
• Lay flat hose
• Smoke/ heat venting
• Fire and smoke management
• Local alarms
• Detection alarms warning
• Fire blankets
Failure to maintain fire protection systems leads to hefty fines. It makes business sense to comply with the different standards because compliance will save a business owner from loss of funds through payment of fines and will boost employee productivity because of a safe working environment. Compliance will also prevent litigation caused by employees and clients being seriously affected by a fire because of poor fire equipment maintenance measures.
For further help with fire equipment maintenance, contact FCF Rockhampton today.