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In This Edition
 
Dates For Your Diary

Upcoming Events

Membership Group Meetings:

VIC - Melbourne
Tue Dec 9
3.00 - 5.00pm


TAS - Hobart
Wed Dec 10
10.00am - 11.30am

SA - Adelaide
Thu Dec 11
3.00 - 5.00pm


Fire Australia 2015
Gold Coast 
March 25-26

Assessment Workshops

DECEMBER
VIC 8-12

JANUARY
WA 13-16
NSW 20-23
VIC 27-30

FEBRUARY
QLD 3-6
TAS 10-13
SA 17-20


Click here for more event information
 
   
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FPA Australia Highlights Importance of Apartment Fire Safety on The Project

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FPA Australia was recently featured on Network 10's The Project regarding safety of apartment buildings after a fire caused extensive damage to a high rise in Melbourne's Docklands.

More than 500 people were evacuated from the 20-storey high-rise apartment building as the fire broke out, damaging at least seven floors.
The blaze was believed to have started in an air conditioning unit on the balcony of a second floor apartment in the Latrobe Street building. The damage to the building is estimated to be in excess of $2 million.

Matthew Wright, Chief Technical Officer / Deputy CEO said the incident represented a positive outcome with all residents evacuated safely and sprinkler heads inside the building operating, helping to protect people and property.

The incident highlights the importance of vigilance for residents of apartment complexes, both in understanding their emergency exit procedures in their building and in taking notice of fire alarms when they are sounded.

The fire is also another example of why it is critical that trained and competent persons are utilised to inspect, test and maintain lifesaving fire protection systems and equipment to ensure they operate as intended when required. To view the full video, click the image above.

 
 
     
 
Fire Australia 2015 - Only 5 Exhibition Booths Remain! 

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The Fire Australia Conference & Exhibition is coming to the Gold Coast in March 2015 and now may be your last opportunity to secure an exhibition booth at this event, which is the premier fire protection industry conference in Australia.

After significant demand from interested exhibitors there are now only five exhibition booth spaces remaining, so get in now to ensure you don't miss out. Limited sponsorship opportunities are also selling fast. Download the Exhibition & Sponsorship Brochure 
here.

The Fire Australia Conference & Exhibition attracts a wide range of representation from businesses, government and fire safety practitioners.

Building on the success of the last conference and exhibition, Fire Australia 2015 will once again provide delegates the option of attending multiple streams over the course of both days. The streams will provide a mix of presentations focussing on product compliance and industry specific topics.

The industry specific streams will cover the key industry sectors of early warning and detection, fire suppression, passive fire protection, maintenance and bushfire. Presentations will address current issues, industry direction and challenges and technical content relevant to those with an involvement in the fire protection industry.

The exhibition will once again be a main feature of the event, located central to all aspects of the conference. Sponsors and Exhibitors have the opportunity to present on their products and services within the exhibition hall.


For more information about Fire Australia 2015 visit www.fireaustralia.com.au

 
 
     
 
Upcoming State & Territory Membership Group Meetings

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As always there is plenty of activity taking place within the Association's State & Territory Membership Groups. This week the Northern Territory Membership Group held its first official meeting which well attended.

Three more important membership group meetings are coming up in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania over coming weeks. Please see all the details for the upcoming meetings below and keep your eyes on the events page of the FPA Australia website as more STMG activities are announced.

Victorian Inaugural Membership Group Meeting
Date: Tuesday 9 December 2014
Time: 3.00pm – 5.00pm
Location: FPA Australia National Office
Building: 2, 31-47 Joseph Street, Blackburn North, Victoria 3130
Room: Lee Room

This Meeting’s Featured Presentation:

In addition to broad information on a range of fire protection areas, this inaugural meeting will feature a presentation by Matthew Wright, FPA Australia Chief Technical Officer / Deputy CEO to discuss sunsetting of Victoria’s Building Regulations and VBA / ABCB update.

South Australian Inaugural Membership Group Meeting
Date: Thursday 11 December 2014
Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Thebarton Community Centre
Corner South Road and Ashwin Parade, Torrensville
(Please enter carpark from South Road)

This Meeting’s Featured Presentation:

The meeting will feature a presentation on the proposed update of Ministers Specification SA76. The update is close to being finalised following a largely supportive public comment period and will make changes to reference AS1851-2012 in South Australia. Discussion points will include:
  • How FPA Australia's submissions and engagement have assisted in updating the Ministers Specification and the governments direction on this
  • How existing buildings can transfer to the new requirements and the roles of different parties in this process
  • Future plans for regulatory improvements (as discussed in the Working Group) to address issues flagged by FPA Australia such as critical defect reporting and the importance of using competent persons such as those accredited by FPA Australia
  • Issues in the construction sector that you see as concerns or where change is happening that you would like to talk about
Presenter– Matthew Wright, FPA Australia Chief Technical Officer / Deputy CEO

Tasmanian Inaugural Membership Group Meeting
Date: Wednesday 10 December 2014
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am
Location: Tasmania Fire Service
Corner Argyle and Melville Streets, Hobart

Topics for Discussion:

The emphasis of the new State & Territory Membership Group format is to better engage with members regarding emerging trends and information associated with the fire protection industry and also the activities of the Association. To assist in the delivery of this information, six portfolios have been established and meetings will include discussion on topics associated with these portfolios and free information presentations on a select subject matter, when available. Focus on discussion in these portfolios are as follows:
  • Accreditation & Licensing
  • Regulations ,Codes & Standards
  • Bushfire
  • Products & Services
  • Membership & Member Activities
  • Regulatory Stakeholders
To attend one of these important free Membership Group meetings, simply register your attendance via the CONNECT platform or email your full name and company name to engagement@fpaa.com.au and arrive ready to contribute positively to the discussion. You can learn more about the STMGs on the Association's website at www.fpaa.com.au/engagement/stmg
 
 
     
 
Less Than One Month Until the New Maintenance Standard Applies in Queensland - Is Your Business Ready? 

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FPA Australia would like to remind industry stakeholders in Queensland that AS 1851-2012 Routine Service of Fire Protection Systems & Equipment becomes the mandatory Standard* for fire protection inspection and testing work in QLD from January 1, 2015.

A six month transition has been in place, however this will end on December 31, 2014.


FPA Australia has strongly advocated for the adoption of the new standard in Queensland. The adoption of AS 1851-2012 will deliver a reduction in red tape and provide savings for building owners, while still protecting the safety of building occupants.

Queensland-based providers of fire protection inspection, testing and maintenance services should consider if they have the necessary recording and reporting materials, such as logbooks, in order to work to the new standard from January 1. 

FPA Australia's all new AS 1851-2012 logbooks are ready to be used under the new Queensland regulations, with special provisions included in each book for the specific requirements of the new MP6.1 and the new Building Fire Safety Regulations.

To find out more about FPA Australia's suite of AS 1851-2012 logbooks 
click here.  (*Alternative solutions are permitted to vary AS 1851-2012 according to these specific requirements).
 
     
 
Need Logbooks? Order by Wednesday December 17 for 2014 Dispatch

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FPA Australia would like to advise all customers purchasing AS 1851-2005 or 2012 logbooks to ensure any deliveries required to be dispatched in 2014 are ordered prior to Wednesday December 17, as our last day of postage will be Thursday December 18, 2014.

After this time, orders from the FPA Australia Sales Centre will not be dispatched again until Monday January 5, 2015. The FPA Australia National Office will be officially closed for the Christmas / New Year break from COB Wednesday December 24 to Monday January 5.
 
     
 
Are Your Technicians Ready to Meet Their EAHL Requirements?

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The Fire Protection Industry (ODS & SGG) Board wishes to remind companies that now is an opportune time to check whether any of your technicians have an EAHL Experienced Persons (Entitlement 1-5). As of 1 December 2014 the EAHL Experienced Persons (Entitlement 1 - 5) licences are no longer be available for new applicants or for existing licence holders to renew.

Companies should encourage their technicians to enrol in and complete training and/or assessment now to avoid the risk of not being able to access and complete training and/or assessment prior to their permits expiring.

Technicians who have not transitioned to the EAHL Qualified Persons within the transition period will not be able to reapply for an EAHL Experienced Persons (Entitlement 1-5) and cannot handle ODS & SGG extinguishing agents without a valid permit.

Holding a permit provides technicians with a competitive advantage and demonstrates they are not only meeting legislated obligations for the handling of ODS & SGG agents but are also helping to protect the environment by preventing unnecessary discharges of scheduled extinguishing agents.

To determine the specific transition status and expiry date for your employees, please contact the Fire Protection Industry (ODS & SGG) Board at ozone@fpaa.com.au or on 03 8892 3131.

 
     
 
 Call for Input to FPA Australia's AS 1905.1 Public Comment Submission
 
Standards Australia’s committee for passive fire protection, FP-019, has recently released a draft revision of AS 1905.1, Components for the protection of openings in fire-resistant walls—Fire-resistant doorsets for public comment. This draft revision can be downloaded from the SAI Global website here (please note you will need to create a free login to download this).
 
This draft revision includes changes to:
  • meet the ABCB protocols for the development of NCC referenced documents; and
  • clarify the requirements for testing, assessments, installation, marking and documentation
FPA Australia encourages all interested members to review this draft revision and provide public comment as they see fit. Comment can be submitted on your own behalf directly to Standards Australia using the Standards Hub, see the second page of the public comment draft for instructions. FPA Australia will also be making a public comment submission.

If you wish to provide comment to be considered for inclusion in FPA Australia’s public comment submission, please submit your comment using the online form here. Alternately, if you would like to provide images or other documentation, please contact technical@fpaa.com.au for a copy of the Standards Australia public comment template to use instead of completing this online form.

The comments received will be reviewed and collated by FPA Australia and forwarded to our Technical Advisory Committee for passive fire protection (TAC/19) which will determine what comments will be included in FPA Australia’s Public Comment submission.

For more information read this article in full here.

 
 
     
 
 Registrations for the Free 2015 National Construction Code Now Open

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The Australian Building Codes Board recently announced that registrations are now open to receive electronic copies of the new free 2015 National Construction Code (NCC).  

The NCC comprises the Building Code of Australia (BCA), Volume One and Two; and the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), as Volume Three.

FPA Australia is encouraging all Association members and other relevant stakeholders to take advantage of this opportunity to access these critical reference documents which are the foundation of all building and construction in Australia.

To register for the 2015 NCC visit the ABCB website here.

 
 
     
 
 Queensland Government Seeking Feedback on Building Act Review 

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In May 2013 the Queensland Government committed to undertake a review of the role of private certifiers practicing in Queensland.

The review placed an emphasis on probity, conflicts of interest, quality and appropriate accountability for private certifiers to ensure they adequately perform their functions. A subsequent compliance audit by the Commission inspected 112 properties and identified 11 which failed to meet acceptable framing requirements.

As a result the Commission engaged construction law barrister Mr Andrew Wallace to undertake an external review of the Building Act 1975 and building certification in Queensland. Mr Wallace’s final report has now been delivered. The Wallace Report raises some new ideas and approaches to issues that were not previously canvassed in the discussion paper released on 15 June 2014. 

 
While the Wallace Report provides explanation about how the recommendations were reached, the government is interested in hearing feedback about the recommendations, including any cost impacts or unintended consequences.

To learn more and provide feedback, read the full article here.
 
     
 
FPA Australia National AGM Held - Board of Directors Confirmed

FPA Australia’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Tuesday 11 November at the FPA Australia National Office in Blackburn North, Victoria. National President, Trevor Voevodin welcomed those present and conducted the business of the meeting. 

Trevor reported that the 2013/14 was a year FPA Australia focussed on the journey to professionalism and this has been reflected in many areas of the Association's activities, in particular the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS).

Trevor thanked Association CEO Scott Williams on behalf of the Board of Directors for his strong contribution over the past year and the staff of FPA Australia for their ongoing work.

At the AGM the incoming Board for 2014/15 was announced. Trevor congratulated both Chris Orr and Graeme Thom for their reappointment for the 2014/15 year. The six elected directors are Trevor Voevodin, Chris Orr, Graeme Thom, Bill Lea, Rhondel Johannessen and Alf Pelliccione.  Graham Harris and Hank Van Ravenstein were reappointed as co-opted directors for a further year. At the Board meeting immediately following the AGM, the Board Executive was decided with Trevor Voevodin appointed as National President, Chris Orr as Senior Vice President, Graeme Thom as Junior Vice President and Bill Lea as Treasurer.

You can learn more about the activities of the FPA Australia Board of Directors on our website here

 
 
Fire Protection Association Australia | Building 2, 31-47 Joseph Street, Blackburn North, VIC 3130  | 1300 731 922
The opinion or information provided to you in the FireSignals e-newsletter (verbal, written, electronic or by any other means) is forwarded in good faith on behalf of FPA Australia. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of any organisation with which the author is associated (including FPA Australia). FPA Australia or the individuals providing this opinion / information do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the opinion / information provided, nor do they accept either directly or indirectly any liabilities, losses and damages arising from the use and application of this opinion / information. FPA Australia does not endorse or support any of the advertising businesses or products in the FireSignals e-newsletter. All advertising businesses or products appearing in FireSignals e-newsletter do so at their own cost.