Urgent Review of Building Product Compliance and Fire Safety Needed
FPA Australia is calling for an urgent review of the surveillance and auditing of building approvals, processes and all requirements for occupancy Australia wide.
The Association strongly commends the Metropolitan Fire Brigade on its comprehensive and damning report into the Melbourne Docklands apartment fire which highlighted the use of non-compliant, highly combustible external cladding material, along with many other issues.
Equally, FPA Australia is pleased that the Victorian Building Authority is investigating the building practitioners involved in this incident. However, the Association believes this issue highlights a much broader, systemic failure to implement and enforce building legislation and urgent action is needed to make expectations and responsibilities clear.
In 2011 the Victorian Auditor General's Office (VAGO) report into the private building surveying industry in Victoria found that 96 percent of permits examined did not comply with the relevant building and safety standards.
FPA Australia CEO Scott Williams said more than three years later little has changed.
"Today we still have occupied buildings in Australia that have significant questions over the level of life safety provided for occupants and the public," he said.
"In the building and construction industry it is widely known that non-compliant products are bypassing the building approval process and are being installed in Australian buildings. This is a most significant concern to life safety and yet worryingly, is only identified when a fire event occurs."
"The community has an expectation that, particularly in new, multi storey buildings, they will be reasonably safe from fire. It appears this is not the case in many Australian buildings today. We know anecdotally that there are many other non-compliant products installed in many other buildings around the country."
"In a developed country products simply should not be installed in buildings without required approvals demonstrating they are fit for purpose. As such the Association again strongly repeats its recommendations made in 2011, in response to the VAGO report."
To read the recommendations and the rest of the press release click here. to view the full MFB Post Incident analysis on the Lacrosse Apartment Fire click here,
Comment on Four Draft Standards - AS 2118.1, AS 1668.1, AS 1670.1 & AS 1670.4
In recent years FPA Australia has been involved in the revision of a number of key Australian Standards for fire protection at the relevant Standards Australia committees.
Four of these standards have now been released with the intent that public comment will be resolved and the standards published in time for them to be adopted in BCA 2016. This timeline is crucial as the BCA revision cycle will change from yearly to three yearly as of 2016. This means if the deadline for adoption in BCA 2016 is missed then the next edition when these standards could be adopted is BCA 2019.
This is your opportunity to provide feedback on the draft revisions of these important standards:
AS 2118.1, Automatic fire sprinklers - General systems(available here; public comment closes on 22 May)
AS 1668.1, The use of ventilation and air conditioning in buildings - Fire and smoke control in buildings(available here; comment closes 9 June).
AS 1670.1, Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems - System design, installation and commissioning - Fire (available here; comment closes 15 June 2015).
AS 1670.4:2015, Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems - System design, installation and commissioning - Emergency warning and intercom systems (available here; comment closes 15 June).
Public comment can be submitted direct to Standards Australia by following the instructions on the second page of the public comment draft. FPA Australia will also be making its own public comment submissions on these draft standards and we would like to invite anyone who wishes to submit comment for consideration to be included in the Association's submission to do so using the links below.
While all individuals with an interest in these standards can provide comment directly to Standards Australia, by providing your comments via FPA Australia, your input is given added weight through the backing of one of the major stakeholders for the standards.
To provide comment for consideration to be included in FPA Australia's public comment submissions, click on the relevant link below:
AS 2118.1, Automatic fire sprinklers - General systems¸ click here.
AS 1670.1, Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems - System design, installation and commissioning - Fire¸ click here.
AS 1670.4:2015, Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems - System design, installation and commissioning - Emergency warning and intercom systems ¸ click here.
AS 1668.1, The use of ventilation and air conditioning in buildings - Fire and smoke control in buildings¸ click here.
If you have any questions about FPA Australia's public comment submission or process, please contact Ian Findlay, Technical Coordinator, on email@example.com. If you have any questions about supplying comments direct to Standards Australia, please contact Standards Australia's Customer Information Service on 1800 035 822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONNECT 2.0 Launched - All New Features Including Communications Preferences
Last week FPA Australia went live with a full face-lift of our CONNECT online member portal, which has been in development for more than six months.
As well as being significantly easier to use, the new platform boasts a host of changes to improve the FPA Australia member experience including:
Improved renewal process
Main Contacts have the ability to administer company details including adding and removing contacts linked to the company
Improved event searching and registration process
Responsive website - mobile and tablet friendly
Displays Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) accreditation for individuals
Displays FPAS Recognised Businesses & Workplace Relations Plus Subscribers.
In addition to the great benefits outlined above, the new CONNECT platform also allows members to dynamically manage their communications preferences, meaning you can now select to receive only the information from FPA Australia that is relevant to you and your business.
To manage your communications preferences now or to check out all of the new features head to connect.fpaa.com.au.
FPA Australia Rolls Out Pilot Certificate II Training Course
FPA Australia has recently delivered an initial trial of a new training course aimed at those individuals who wish to achieve a Certificate II in Fire Protection Inspection and Testing. The course is aimed at providing fire protection technicians a different pathway in obtaining their qualifications, where only self study had been offered previously.
The course is aimed at individuals with limited experience in fire equipment maintenance. It is an opportunity for participants to come into a classroom setting for five days and learn the required skills and knowledge for an entry level fire protection technician.
This is achieved via hands-on and theory based activities and assessments. Activities range from disassembling and reassembling portable fire extinguishers to completing required maintenance, as well as classroom presentations and assessments.
The Association recently ran the course for the first time in Perth with a group of 15 participants from Jim's Test and Tag. The course covered inspect and test procedures for fire equipment and emergency and exit lighting. As a result of the pilot program FPA Australia will now further refine the course before making it available nationally. We thank the Jim's group for their participation in the pilot program, which was a great success with very encouraging feedback provided.
For employers wanting their technicians trained and assessed quickly, a five day training course is ideal either as an introduction into the industry or to refresh skills and knowledge obtained on the job. While more experienced fire protection technicians may still find the self study pathway to be a more efficient method for attaining their qualifications, the introduction of the new course should allow for a broader range of choice for those seeking to gain qualifications.
Keep an eye on the training & education pages of the FPA Australia website for an announcement of the certificate II five day course being made available in the near future.
AS 1851-2012 Now Required in South Australia
FPA Australia would like to remind all South Australian members that, as of May 1, AS 1851-2012 Routine Service of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment is the State's required standard for fire protection maintenance.
The Association is extremely pleased with this outcome as we have invested significant resources to ensure the new best practice standard was adopted.
If your business conducts routine maintenance / inspect and test activities on fire protection systems and equipment it is important that you are fully aware of the changes entailed in the new version of the Standard and that you have the necessary recording and reporting logbooks for the new version.
FPA Australia has created a suite of best practice logbooks for AS 1851-2012 which are available for you to purchase now. For more information about our range of logbooks, download the brochure here, or simply download the order form here.
The Association would again like to commend the South Australian Government for the leadership role it has taken in ensuring the best fire protection maintenance practices are adopted via this important standard.
FPA Australia is developing a comprehensive seminar tailored for South Australia to discuss the new regulatory requirements and technical methodologies included in AS 1851-2012. A further announcement will be made on the seminar soon in this newsletter and the FPA Australia website.
If you have any questions in relation to Minister's Specification SA 76-Maintenance of Essential Safety Provisions 2015 edition or AS 1851-2012 please contact FPA Australia's Technical Department at email@example.com.
FPA Australia Donates to the Children's Hospital Foundation
FPA Australia is pleased to have donated $8,000 to the Children's Hospital Foundation which was raised at the Fire Australia 2015 Conference Dinner on the Gold Coast on March 26.
The money was raised via raffle prizes and direct donation at the dinner which, for the first time in the event's history, was completely sold out.
Association CEO Scott Williams (left) presented the donation and was given a tour of the state-of-the-art Burns Unit by Dr Roy Kimble, Professor of Pediatric Surgery (centre) and Foundation Partnerships Manager Sonja Wallis (right).
Mr Williams said he was pleased the Association was again able to support the Burns Unit.
"This is our second time supporting the the Queensland Children's Hospital Foundation Burns Unit and I am immensely proud that this donation can help to continue their vital work."
Fire NZ 2015 - Discounted Registration for FPA Australia Members
Association members are encouraged to consider attending the upcoming Fire NZ Conference and Exhibition to be held in Wellington on October 15 and 16.
Fire NZ is New Zealand's annual forum for Fire Protection and Fire Engineering professionals. This two day event provides a comprehensive national forum for fire industry professionals and draws delegates from a variety of places and countries throughout the pacific.
This year, keynote speakers have been invited from the USA, Australia and New Zealand. The conference program is designed to provide insight and learning and to extend current thoughts on the various speakers presentation topics, and will provide robust debate around key industry issues.
The 2015 Exhibition format has changed slightly, with a variety of new sponsorship options, premium stands, a full catering area and stand upgrade options. The stand allocation process has been clarified in the Exhibitor Prospectus, this has been designed to ensure its transparent to all exhibitors. Please note that all stand allocations will be confirmed in writing by the 30th of July 2015.
If you have an interest in fire safety, you should attend. The Conference will provide information for, among others:
Fire Protection Contractors
Distributors and Installers
Fire Equipment Manufacturers
Fire Survey Personnel
Fire Service Operational and Volunteer Personnel
Fire Risk Management
Personnel, Property and Facilities Managers
Fire NZ delegates are industry professionals, with a strong interest in the latest developments across fire protection and related products and services. To meet this demand we have set up a new series of interactive events.
In recognition of the partnership between FPA Australia and FPA New Zealand, FPA Australia members will be entitled to a 5% discount. (registration brochure coming soon, visit www.fireprotection.org.nz for more info). If you would like to exhibit you can download the exhibitors prospectus here or if you are interested in presenting at the conference click here.
For all Fire NZ 2015 Conference & Exhibition enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Register Now for HazMat 2015 - The Conference for the Hazardous Materials Industry
Now is the ideal time to register your attendance HazMat 2015, the leading conference for the chemical management, dangerous goods and hazardous materials industries.
This year's conference will be held at Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh, NSW, Tue 16 + Wed 17 June 2015. This important event brings together topical speakers and presentations that cover the many niches of these industry sectors.
Information, Understanding, Safety - The theme of HazMat 2015 focuses on creating a safer world through ensuring required information is accurate, appropriate and available for anyone who interacts with dangerous goods and hazardous chemicals.
The two day program will include a single stream of presentations, many of which relate to the conference theme. The conference will also include two outstanding keynote speakers along with many local expert speakers. Preconference workshops will also be on offer for those interested.
In addition an industry exhibition will be open for anyone to attend and a networking dinner function will be held on the first evening in Darling Harbour.
To complement the conference presentations a selection of exhibitors will display their products and services to delegates and industry personnel. This is a fantastic opportunity to engage with the exhibitors to learn about the latest technology and practices emerging across the industry.
Exhibition opening times are as follows: Tuesday 16 June 8.00am – 5.00pm Wednesday 17 June 8.00am – 4.00pm.
Who Should Attend
Professionals involved in the production of regulations and codes
Personnel involved in storage, handling or transportation of dangerous goods
Specialists responsible for approval, classification and labelling of hazardous substances
Emergency services personnel
Industry specialists and agents
Register to attend via the program and registration brochure. (Print friendly version here). For more information about HazMat 2015 visit the conference webpage or call 03 8892 3131.
EAHL Licence 2 & 3 Special Offer Still Available! Save Up To $1045
Our limited special offer on bundled training for both EAHL Qualified Persons Licence 2 and 3 is still available. The bundle includes all nine units required to achieve EAHL Qualified Persons Licence 2&3. Participants can save up to $1045.
The training is suited to technicians who currently hold an EAHL Experienced Person's Licence and want to transition to a Qualified Person's Licence. It may also be suited to those with industry experience who haven't previously held a licence.
Each participant who enrols will receive a set of self-paced training manuals to work through as well as the written assessment paper. On completion of the training, simply book into an assessment session so that you can be assessed in the practical tasks.
Assessment sessions are held regularly around the country.
On successful completion of the assessment tasks, students will be issued with a nationally recognised statement of attainment, which can be provided to the Executive Officer of Ozone Protection, Fire Protection Industry (ODS & SGG) Board as evidence towards transitioning to an EAHL Qualified Persons Licence.
To take advantage of this offer simply download and complete the enrolment form and return with payment to FPA Australia. We will confirm your enrolment and send you the training materials and assessment instructions. For any enquiries please contact the FPA Australia Training & Education Team on 03 8892 3131.
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.