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Maintaining fire safety equipment is vital

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Leading fire safety equipment supplier, Wormald advises building and property managers to devise a regular inspection, testing and maintenance program for their fire protection and life safety equipment.

Being responsible for the safety of a building’s occupants and users, property managers must not only have adequate life safety equipment in place but also ensure these systems are always in proper working order. Having well maintained fire protection equipment and systems on site can mean the difference between a minor fire and a devastating blaze.

According to Garry Kwok, National Technical Manager with Wormald, a building’s fire protection systems and equipment should perform to the standard to which they were originally designed and installed. Regular maintenance and servicing can validate the functionality of the systems and equipment, and help uncover any faults or issues that may prevent them from working correctly at the time of greatest need.

Property managers must also be aware of their region’s applicable regulations and relevant standards, as well as the necessary records and/or compliance reports that may be required. Australian Standard AS 1851-2005 – Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment details inspection and testing schedules for various fire protection systems and equipment.

For instance, in New South Wales, the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulations (2000) stipulates that all essential fire safety measures must be maintained. The regulation also demands that an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) be prepared by a building’s owner or their agent and submitted to the respective governing authority. This certifies that a building’s fire safety measures have been assessed by a qualified person and found capable of performing as intended to their original design standard.

However, given the number of components that make up fire protection systems such as portable fire protection equipment, sprinkler systems and fire detection systems with each component requiring a specific approach to testing and servicing, managing the mandatory fire audits, strict standards and regulations and reporting requirements may seem overwhelming for the building owner or manager.

Kwok recommends that facility managers contact a fire protection specialist who can provide professional advice and help take the stress out of maintenance and compliance.

Kwok explains that working with a fire protection specialist can help facility managers stay on top of things by keeping a schedule of when and how the systems need to be inspected. It can also help ensure all the necessary servicing procedures are undertaken so that the risk of failure of the fire protection equipment is minimised.

When selecting a fire protection specialist, Kwok advises employing the services of a reputable company so that they can be confident in the technician’s ability and experience.

Wormald offers inspection and testing services to businesses of all types and sizes and, if required, can maintain other manufacturers’ equipment. Wormald’s expertise covers a wide range of fire protection products and systems including fire extinguishers, fire hose reels and cabinets, fire sprinkler systems, fire detection systems, fire hydrants, smoke curtains and doors, and a range of special hazard systems.

In addition to undertaking regular, scheduled equipment and system testing, Wormald offers a 24-hour service with technicians on standby ready to undertake emergency repair work to fire protection systems and equipment.

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