Fire Australia 2015 Call for Papers Released - Submit Your Abstract Now
The call for papers for the Fire Australia 2015 Conference & Exhibition has recently been released and now is the time for interested conference speakers to submit their abstracts for consideration.
For 2015, there are two options for presentations at the conference: Industry Wide & Industry Specific.
Industry Wide presentations will be tailored to managers and business owners, government representatives, fire safety professionals and those interested in policy, regulations, codes, standards and systems that establish the industry-wide framework for achieving fit-for-purpose fire safety systems and equipment.
Industry Specific presentations will be tailored to fire technicians, system designers, engineers, building surveyors & certifiers, maintenance personnel and those involved with applying the technical aspects of fire protection systems and equipment. These streams will cover: early warning and detection, fire suppression, passive fire protection, evacuation & emergency management and bushfire.
For more information on presenting at the conference, download the call for papers brochure here or call 03 8892 3131. Exhibition & Sponsorship opportunities will be made available to Association members from next week.
Inaugural Australian Fire Protection Summit Held in Melbourne
FPA Australia is proud to have recently hosted the first Australian Fire Protection Summit. The Summit, which was held on Tuesday September 16 at the Association's National Office in Melbourne, was an initiative of FPA Australia to increase dialogue among the key stakeholders influencing national fire protection outcomes across legislation, codes and standards in Australia.
Until now there has not been a dedicated forum for key stakeholders to gather and focus solely on fire protection issues.
The summit attracted representatives from:
Australian Building Codes Board
Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council
Australian Institute of Building Surveyors
Society of Fire Safety (Engineers Australia)
Facility Management Association of Australia
Discussions at the summit focussed on identifying trends associated with fire protection, including application of current requirements, applying emerging technologies and improving relationships to increase consistency, compliance and shared goals and vision. Some of the key discussion points included:
Rationalising requirements for fire protection and balancing safety and economic drivers
Standards development and adoption (including ISO Standards)
Documentation and quantification of performance requirements
Defining roles, accreditation & competency requirements and linkages between individuals with industry
All summit attendees agreed that the event was a strong success and also committed to meeting again in December to confirm terms of reference and establish a recognised group for ongoing discussion at a strategic level. FPA Australia would like to thank all those who participated and we look forward to supporting this initiative to drive improvements for industry and increase the consistency of understanding among these key stakeholders.
FPA Australia Raises Standards Concerns in AFR
FPA Australia has been featured in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) regarding concerns about Australian Standards that are not properly implemented in a harmonised and consistent manner nationally.
The interview with AFR follows the release of an important survey by ACIL Allen Consulting into the economic benefits of Australian Standards.
FPA Australia has provided strong feedback to ACIL Allen on the need for a more consistent approach to the application of standards once released, given the significant investment undertaken by the industry in completing these critically important benchmark documents that represent current best practice.
The Association has estimated that its members contribute around $1 million of "in kind" time, input and travel annually into the development of standards through Standards Australia. Once these standards are completed, it is disappointing that Association members then have to pay large sums of money to access these documents.
Additionally, CEO Scott Williams said the most significant concern was when standards are not fully implemented consistently across every state and territory after the painstaking process required to develop them.
The ACIL Allen survey on the value of Australian Standards is now closed and FPA Australia looks forward to the release of the results of this important study. To read the Australian Financial Review article click here.
Upcoming State & Territory Membership Group Meetings - NSW, QLD & VIC
FPA Australia is extremely pleased to advise of three upcoming State & Territory Membership Group meetings in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.
State & Territory Membership Groups (STMGs) are a free opportunity for Association members to engage with their industry and one another in a contemporary, transparent way, which establishes strong two-way communication in order to bring about positive change.
The groups meet periodically in Australian states and territories and follow a uniform structure ensuring all relevant areas are covered consistently
At each meeting, members are provided with updates on the activities and issues affecting the industry and all members can attend any STMG meeting in any state or territory. From time to time portfolio leaders may also nominate expert guest speakers to attend the STMG meetings and provide valuable information to attendees. Members attending the meetings also have the opportunity to ask questions and submit new items for action.
Find out what issues FPA Australia is tackling locally and nationally and provide input on what matters to you. Details for the upcoming meetings are as follows:
New South Wales Membership Group Meeting
Wednesday 29th October, 2pm to 4pm
Rural Fire Service Headquarters
15 Carter Street - Lidcombe NSW
Queensland Membership Group Meeting
Wednesday 5th November, 9am to 11am
Sunnybank Community and Sports Club
470 McCullough St - Sunnybank QLD
Victorian Membership Group Meeting
Tuesday 18th November , 3pm to 5pm
FPA Australia National Office
Building 2, 31-47 Joseph Street - Blackburn North VIC
To attend one of the above free Membership Group meetings, simply register your attendance via the CONNECT platform and arrive ready to contribute positively to the discussion. You can learn more about the STMGs on the Association's website here. We look forward to seeing you at an STMG meeting soon.
South Australian Maintenance Working Group Convened
In December 2013 FPA Australia provided the South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure with a comprehensive proposal to amend the state's regulatory requirements for fire protection maintenance.
This proposal was greeted with in-principle support from the South Australian regulator prior to the state election in March 2014. Since then FPA Australia had not received any further advice or direction from the regulator until a working group was recently formed in September.
The working group includes representatives from SAMFS, local government and Department of Planning, Transport and Industry and is chaired by an independent private building surveyor.
FPA Australia has participated in all three working group meetings so far, during which the group has reviewed the South Australian Minister's Specification SA 76 with the view to adopting AS 1851-2012 and other best practice standards where applicable.
After a delayed start it is encouraging that the South Australian government has acknowledged the submission provided by FPA Australia and is now working proactively with industry to update regulatory requirements for maintenance that will also align with the national agenda.
It is anticipated that a revised version of Ministers Specification SA 76 will be made available for public comment before the end of this year and any formal adoption is subject to final government approval.
More information on the progress of this activity is expected to be provided at the upcoming South Australian Membership Group meeting. Check the FPA Australia website or FireSignals for more information, including details of the upcoming meeting, in coming weeks.
Get Ready for the New Maintenance Standard in QLD - Order Your Logbooks Now
FPA Australia would like to remind all individuals and businesses working in fire protection in Queensland of the upcoming switch to AS 1851-2012, the new standard for routine inspection and testing of fire protection systems and equipment, which will occur on January 1, 2015.
A six month transition period is currently in place during which both the 2005 and 2012 editions of AS 1851 can be used, so now is the ideal time to get prepared by organising logbooks for the new year.
The new logbooks have been designed to meet the requirements of the relevant standards as well as the Queensland Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008, which includes penalties of up to $2,200 for non-compliance with reporting & recording requirements.
FPA Australia has created 13 new logbooks and three summary record books. These books are aligned to the corresponding sections in AS 1851-2012 and AS 2293.2-1995.
Newly released books include the all new Passive Fire & Smoke Systems (LB12, SR12A & SR12B) as well as Emergency Escape Lighting & Exit Signs (LBE 1 & 2), among others.
Orders placed today may take up to two months to be delivered due to significant demand, so act now to ensure you are not without logbooks come January. To order download the form here. For more information about all logbooks and summary record books please call 03 8892 3131.
QLD AS 1851-2012 Seminars a Strong Success
During September FPA Australia ran detailed two-day seminars on the new maintenance standard for Queensland: AS 1851-2012 Routine service of fire protection systems and equipment, in Townsville and Brisbane.
The seminars provided a critically important overview of the changes included in the 2012 version of AS 1851 and how these will impact fire protection technicians, building owners and other QLD stakeholders.
The seminars were a significant success with almost 300 people attending across both events.
This seminar program, which was broken into regulatory compliance and technical sessions, was purpose designed to appeal to a broad range of stakeholders and the Association was pleased to see many regulators, building owners and facility managers in attendance along with FPA Australia members.
The Association would like to thank all seminar speakers who volunteered their time for these events: Shane O'Brien, John Harrison, Chris Lee and Stephen Burton, as well as FPA Australia's Chris Wyborn.
Additionally, the Association would also like to thank the seminar sponsors Chubb Fire & Security and Kidde. Without their valuable support these important seminars would not have been possible.
All event attendees would have recently received an e-menu with presentation slides from the sessions they attended. FPA Australia expects to run more seminars on AS 1851-2012 in other states and territories in 2015. Keep your eyes out for information about these seminars on the events page of the FPA Australia website.
VBA Hosts Important Industry Reference Group Meeting
On 10 September the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) hosted an Industry Reference Group meeting which included representatives from across the construction industry. Each stakeholder has been engaged to assist the VBA in the review of the Building Regulations 2006 that will sunset in 2016.
FPA Australia Chief Technical Officer & Deputy CEO Matthew Wright said the Industry Reference Group was an important step for building reforms in Victoria.
“The establishment of the Industry Reference Group represents the beginning of a new era of consultation with industry that has been mooted by the VBA for some time," he said.
From the preliminary submissions provided by FPA Australia and other organisations, the VBA has already identified that reforms relating to fire protection maintenance and alternative solutions are standouts for consideration.
The current phase of work includes evidence gathering and assessment of the existing regulations. The Industry Reference Group will support the VBA throughout the review of the regulations and the development of new regulations to be implemented by 2016.
“There is a long road to improve regulatory requirements ahead; however FPA Australia is enthusiastic about the opportunity to improve regulatory outcomes for our members and the Victorian community.”
More information on the progress of this activity is expected to be provided at the upcoming Victorian Membership Group Meeting on 18 November. Check the events page of the FPA Australia website for more details.
Don't Miss the 2014 FPA Australia NSW and Victorian Golf Days
You are invited to attend the FPA Australia NSW Membership Group and Victorian Membership Group Annual Golf Days.
These fantastic social events will feature 18 holes (Ambrose) followed by a BBQ buffet lunch, prizes and special awards.
In addition, sponsorship options are still available at both events for interested businesses. By sponsoring one of the Annual Golf Days you will gain direct exposure to local members, organisations and their customers. You will also be supporting your local Membership Group.
Come and join your fellow FPA Australia members in a friendly and fun day out. Details for the Golf Days are as follows:
To register yourself or a team for one of the golf days or for sponsorship opportunities simply select from the relevant links above. To contact the NSW Membership Group email firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the Victorian Membership Group email email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you at one of the upcoming golf days!
New Assessment Workshops Announced
FPA Australia is pleased to announce a host of new dates for public assessment workshops around Australia over coming months.
The Association has been working hard to increase its assessment capacity; ensuring trained assessors will now be available for public sessions around the country.
Enrolment into units of competency is always available and students can apply to attend one of the upcoming assessment workshops when they are ready to be assessed.
Upcoming assessment workshops are as follows:
Queensland (Brisbane) – 25th - 28th November 2014
New South Wales (Sydney) – 2nd – 5th December 2014
Victoria (Melbourne) – 8th December – 12th December 2014
Western Australia (Perth) – 13th January – 16th January 2015
New South Wales (Sydney) – 20th January – 23rd January 2015
Victoria (Melbourne) – 27th January – 30th January 2015
Queensland (Brisbane) – 3rd February – 6th February 2015
Tasmania (Location TBA) – 10th February – 13th February 2015
South Australia (Adelaide) – 17th February – 20th February 2015
You can register online for any of the upcoming assessment workshops via the events calendar here. For more information contact the Engagement & Education Department on 03 8892 3131.
Fire Protection Association Australia | Building 2, 31-47 Joseph Street, Blackburn North, VIC 3130 | 1300 731 922
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