Pressure Mounts for National Construction Product Compliance Reforms
On 27 April the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) released a post incident analysis report into an apartment fire in Melbourne's Docklands precinct in November 2014. The report found that, while the fire was started by a discarded cigarette, its rapid spread across multiple floors of the building was thanks in large part to non-compliant combustible cladding material on the building's facade.
This incident and the report have sparked one of the largest public debates on the importance of using fit-for-purpose products for building and construction and the need for increased education across the sector.
FPA Australia has long been advocating for serious reform in this area to ensure public safety. Since March the Association has featured in a range of national broadcast and print news outlets championing this reform, including recently on the ABC 7.30 program.
In order to provide a meaningful solution to this important issue the Association in engaging with key stakeholders to propose a new, risk based alternative to the current situation for demonstrating evidence of suitability of products under the Building Code of Australia.
FPA Australia has recently written to each of the relevant state and territory building / planning ministers and the federal minister for industry ahead of the Australian Building Ministers Forum on 31 July.
The Association is aware that the issue of building product compliance is already set as an agenda item at the meeting and we expect our proposal will be on the table during this discussion.
Last week FPA Australia flagged its risk based proposal for evidence of suitability on the ABC World Today radio program. You can listen to the program here.
It is important to note that this position is in line with the Association's Position Statement 05 - Product Compliance and Evidence of Suitability, which can be viewed here. The approach is also in keeping with the resolutions from the Fire Australia Conference & Exhibition 2015 which can be viewed here.
To view the full MFB Post Incident Analysis on the Lacrosse Apartment Fire click here. For any further information please contact the FPA Australia Technical Department on 03 8892 3131.
Professional Membership Category Released
FPA Australia is pleased to announce a brand new category of Membership for individuals: Professional Membership.
Professional membership is designed for those individuals who are registered with a professional body and wish to take an active role within the activities of FPA Australia.
Practicing Professional members must hold a minimum of $2 million professional indemnity insurance and will be bound by the FPA Australia Code of Professional Conduct, the Memorandum & Articles of Association/Constitution and terms and conditions of membership.
There is no insurance requirement for non-practicing Professional members. To learn more about the benefits and requirements of professional membership, you can download the flyer here.
Applications for Professional membership will open on 1 July 2015. For more information please contact our Membership Services department on 03 8892 3131.
FPAS Fire Systems Design & Fire Systems Certification Launches 1 July
Applications for the Fire Systems Design and Fire Systems Certification categories of the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) will officially open on 1 July for those practitioners working in either NSW or Victoria.
The staged approach to rolling out these categories is designed to ensure capacity to provide the necessary assessment workshops.
The ‘Fire Systems Design’ and ‘Fire Systems Certification’ accreditation classes will have two (2) individual accreditation pathways for entry into the Scheme:
· Experienced(transitional) Accreditation is awarded to an applicant who has demonstrated a minimum of four (4) years relevant work experience in fire systems design and undertaken the work within the last eight (8) years. Once the Qualified Accreditation pathway is launched transition to Qualified Accreditation needs to occur within four (4) years.
· Trainee(transitional) Accreditation is offered to FPAS ’Recognised’ businesses and is awarded to an applicant who works under the supervision of an FPAS accredited individual whilst undertaking approved formal learning. Once the Qualified Accreditation pathway is launched transition to Qualified Accreditation needs to occur within four (4) years.
Qualified Accreditation will be introduced at a later date as further industry and regulatory consultation and review is currently being undertaken in relation to the most suitable requirements for this pathway.
Workshops will be scheduled once sufficient numbers of applicants have registered and initially in Victoria and New South Wales. The location of workshops will be demand driven following receipt of applications.
The assessment process has been developed to ensure that individuals applying for accreditation, in either fire systems design or fire systems certification, have a minimum knowledge and skill base in the particular category being applied for.
An extensive range of questions have been developed for specific knowledge in the categories of fire sprinkler systems, fire hydrant and hose reel systems and fire detection and alarm systems.
The Association will be releasing more detailed information and full application forms prior to 1 July.
To register your interest for accreditation across any state or territory please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Accreditation and Licensing department on 03 8892 3131.
AS 2118.1 Public Comment Now Closed. AS 1668.1, AS 1670.1 and AS 1670.4 Close This Month
Recently, four public comment draft standards were released with the intent that comment be resolved in time for these standards to be adopted in BCA 2016.
The four standards are:
AS 2118.1, Automatic fire sprinklers - (public comment closed May 22).
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, Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems - System design, installation and commissioning - Emergency warning and intercom systems (available here; comment closes 15 June).
While public comment for AS 2118.1 has now closed there is still time to submit comment for the other three vital industry standards by following the links above.
FPA Australia has previously called for comments to its own submissions to these standards and these have now been compiled and, where relevant, included in the Association's public comment submissions.
As these standards are released and adopted, the Association will also be rolling out educational events to inform members and the industry about changed work practices that flow from the updated standards.
Safety Alert on Non-Certified Sprinklers - International Fire Sprinkler Association
The International Fire Sprinkler Association (IFSA) has identified a significant concern in certain regions of the world regarding the use of counterfeit fire sprinkler products, as well as those products that have no marking indicating that they have been certified by a reputable third party certification organization.
The use of faulty fire sprinkler products can cause a fire sprinkler system to be ineffective in controlling or suppressing a fire. This can put lives and property at risk.
A report provided to the IFSA by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) highlights the concerns associated with sprinklers that have no evidence of being certified by a reputable third party certification organization. These sprinklers were reported to be representative of ESFR (early suppression fast response) sprinklers installed in several storage facilities located in China.
Due to the small quantity of samples available for testing, the scope of UL's investigation was limited to conducting only 9 tests described in ANSI/UL 1767-2013, Standard for Early-Suppression Fast-Response Sprinklers, which includes more than 30 performance tests required for UL certification of an ESFR sprinkler. Many critical tests described in ANSI/UL 1767, including the large scale fire testing to investigate the ability of the sprinkler to suppress a fire, were not conducted as a part of this investigation.
Fire Protection Maintenance in South Australia: Seminar 24 & 25 June
FPA Australia has announced a detailed seminar on understanding your responsibilities and obligations for maintaining fire protection systems and equipment and learning about the changes to Minister's Specification SA76 and AS 1851-2012 to be held in Adelaide over two days, June 24 and 25.
On 1 May 2015 the South Australian Government introduced changes to Minister's Specification SA76 that introduce the ability to adopt AS 1851-2012 Routine Service of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment.
This two day seminar will provide information on the regulatory and technical requirements for maintaining fire protection systems and equipment in accordance with SA76 and AS 1851-2012. Delegates can choose to attend the regulatory session, specific technical sessions or all sessions across both days.
It is critical that all building owners, tenants, facility managers, fire protection companies and other stakeholders have a good understanding of the regulatory requirements in South Australia and their obligations to maintain fire system and equipment as well as the administrative and technical requirements of AS 1851-2012.
Mary Andruchowycz - Chief Project Officer - Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure
Alan Short - Managing Director - Fire & Emergency Services SA
Jason Lohf - Regional Manager SA / NT - Brooks
Peter Butler- National Technical and Customer Service Manager - Promat Australia
Bernie Steer - Municipal Building Surveyor - Adelaide City Council
Chris Wyborn - Engagement & Education Manager - Fire Protection Association Australia
Who Should Attend:
Property Owners & Managers
Local Council Representatives
Fire Services Personnel
System End Users
Where and When:
Wednesday 24 & Thursday 25 June
BioSA Conference Centre, 40/46 W Thebarton Road, Thebarton, Adelaide, SA.
Workplace Relations Plus Promotional Offer - One Month Only
Our limited half price offer on Workplace Relations Plus subscription is back for a strictly limited time.
Until 30 June, Corporate members are eligible for an exciting 50% offer for those who sign up to Workplace Relations Plus and commence services by 31 December 2015.
All FPA Australia Corporate members who subscribe to Workplace Relations Plus are eligible to use a range of enterprise agreements tailored by FPA Australia for the fire protection industry (specifically focused on sprinkler fitting & electrical) as well as a number of other exclusive services. Available services for Workplace Relations Plus subscribers include:
A range of tailored enterprise agreements for the fire protection industry. These include agreements for Licensed Sprinkler Fitting, Licensed Electrical, Non-Trade Fire Protection work and much more
FPA Australia enterprise agreements that are Building and Construction Industry Code compliant
Support for existing enterprise agreements or other arrangements (Capped Restrictions Apply)
To learn more about Workplace Relation Plus download the brochure. To take advantage of the special introductory offer download the application form.
Less Than Two Weeks to go Until HazMat 2015 - Don't Forget to Register
There are now less than two weeks to go until the HazMat 2015 Conference & Exhibition, so register now for the premier event for the hazardous materials industry.
On 16 & 17 June the HazMat Conference & Exhibition is coming to Sydney, bringing together topical speakers covering the many niches of the chemical management and hazardous materials industries.
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.
This can include emergency service personnel, manufacturers, formulators, applicators and end-users. Information sources for dangerous goods and hazardous chemicals include chemical registers, emergency procedure guides, labels and safety data sheets (SDS). Improving the quality of information and encouraging best practices should reduce the potential risks which may occur 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. Attendees can engage with the exhibitors and learn about the latest technology and practices emerging across the industry.
Exhibition opening times are Tuesday 16 June 8.00am – 5.00pm & Wednesday 17 June 8.00am – 4.00pm.
Attendees at the HazMat Conference & Exhibition include:
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
To register your attendance, download the program and registration brochure. (Print friendly version here). For more information about HazMat 2015 visit the conference webpage or call 03 8892 3131.
Fire Protection Association Australia | Building 2, 31-47 Joseph Street, Blackburn North, VIC 3130 | 1300 731 922
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