Maintenance and inspections
Call us to find out how we can assist your business with commercial and residential Fire Safety Inspections, flow testing, specialised Hydrostatic testing and any electrical repairs required.
ESSENTIAL SERVICES INSPECTION AND TESTING
All fire service installations must be regularly inspected and tested for their operation. Fire fighters and the public need to be able to operate all necessary equipment in the event of an emergency. Insurance in commercial buildings is subject to fire services being inspected on a regular basis by a professional company. Property Managers need to be active in keeping their buildings up-to-date and in good working order. Fire Guard Installations follow up their installations with a 12 month inspection and testing contract. We are continually expanding this service and now offer contracts of 1, 2 and 3 years with inherent discounts on each contract
WHY DO WE MAINTAIN ESSENTIAL SERVICES
Ø TO MAKE SURE ESSENTIAL SERVICES WORK IF CALLED ON.
Ø TO IDENTIFY ISSUES BEFORE THEY ARISE.
Ø TO FIX SMALL DEFECTS ON SITE.
Any reputably Fire Service company will only test to AS1851 or manufacturers specifications for the particular essential service. AS1851 is the Australian Standard for routine servicing of fire protection systems and equipment.
The objective of AS1851 is to maintain the reliability of Fire protection equipment systems and equipment such that they continue to meet the requirements of the approved design and are likely to do so until the next scheduled service activity.
Testing of buildings fire services is law that is listed as part 9 Division 6 Clause 182 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000
Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000
182 Essential fire safety measures to be maintained
(1) The owner of a building to which an essential fire safety measure is applicable must not fail to maintain each essential fire safety measure in the building premises:
(a) in the case of an essential fire safety measure applicable by virtue of a fire safety schedule, to a standard no less than that specified in the schedule, or
(b) in the case of an essential fire safety measure applicable otherwise than by virtue of a fire safety schedule, to a standard no less than that to which the measure was originally designed and implemented.
(2) As soon as practicable after receiving a request in that regard from the owner of a building to which an essential fire safety measure is applicable otherwise than by virtue of a fire safety schedule, the council must provide the owner with a schedule of the essential fire safety measures for the building premises.
Why does your fire door need to be inspected?
The front entry doors to each apartment in your strata scheme are known as fire doors. Their purpose, aside from providing security to your premises, is to prevent the spread of fire from the common areas into your apartment and vice-versa.
The fire rating for most fire doors is 90 minutes, which simply means the doors should be able to prevent the spread of fire for at least 90 minutes which should be sufficient to allow residents to escape the building in an emergency.
Our Fire Services Technicians need to complete a brief visual inspection of the actual doors to check that their fire rating has not been compromised. The inspectors are looking for the following issues with the doors:
1. Fire Rated Locks & Spy Holes
Any penetration made to the fire door, such as installation of a new lock or spy hole can breach the fire rating of the door. As such all additional locks or spy holes that have been installed must be approved fire rated products that won’t compromise the fire rating of the door.
2. Improper Installations
The Australian Standards specifies that an occupant of an apartment should have unobstructed escape route from their premises so they are able to easily escape in the event of a fire. There are certain types of locks, namely the Lockwood 001 and 002 dead latches that have an automatic release function when opened which are permitted to be fitted to a fire door.
The Australian Standards also stipulate that there should be no article fitted to the door that will impede the door when it is closing. Items such as safety chains or door stops may be classified as such as impediment if fitted to the door.
3. Automatic Door Closer
Your fire door should be fitted with an automatic door closer to ensure that it remains closed at all times. The inspectors will test the operation of the closer to make certain that it is functioning and performing adequately.
This is to help prevent flames from engulfing the door in the event of a fire. Occasionally the doors can be misaligned by natural building movement, settlement, or every day wear and tear.
5. Door Tags
The stamp or tag is usually on the rear spine of the door and notes its classification, date of manufacture and fire rating. The inspectors need to ensure that this tag is evident.
Servicing of Sprinkler installations have had a few changes over the years.
A summary is:
AS1851-2005 (Section 2)
AS1851-2012 (Section 2)
It is preferable and recommended to adopt the latest testing standard-although not mandatory. If in doubt of the testing standard that you need to adopt we recommend the first step is to consult your insurance broker or underwriter to advice on what they consider is acceptable to the essential services you have on site and the type/nature of the building.
3-Yearly Alarm Valve overhauls
The most common requirement experience by clients in regards to semi-major servicing of the sprinkler system is the three year alarm valve overhaul. The implementation of this preventative maintenance action is a sensible approach by the client. The servicing may even result in saved costs of Fire Monitoring false alarm charges. Below are two (2) examples of requests by new clients to fix issues originating from their sprinkler systems? Both were a result of the three yearly overhauls that were not carried out over a ten year period by their service provider.
You can see that over time either a rock has dislodged itself on the alarm valve chamber or sediments have built up to combine into an aggregate that caused the alarm valve to stick open. The result was excessive time on site by technicians trying to reset alarms. The rock may potentially stop the alarm clapper from lifting-thus not calling the NSWFR.
This example shows an alarm valve rubber has deteriorated over time and could not site flush to the alarm valve plate. The result was continued false alarms caused by water seeping into the alarm line. A simple maintenance procedure could have averted quite a number of false alarms.
What is Flow Testing?
Flow tests are a test of water flow at defined pressures. Flow tests are carried out both on Hydrants and sprinklers each year to AS1851 testing standards or as requested by the client. A flow test is a great method of determining issues such as
- Underground feed valves being turned off. A common cause of water starvation.
- Blockages in pipes
- Under performing fire pumps
For example: A fire hydrant system may have the following design requirements
- Pressure no higher than 1,300Kpa at zero flow
- A flow of water of 1,200 litres per minute at a pressure of 250KPa (36.3 Psi)
FGI Fire use dedicated and specialist instruments to connect to the hydrant (or sprinkler) system and test the flows of water at those pressures. Once the test is done a report is generated and sent to the client. If the flow or pressures do not meet the minimum requirements investigation is normally required to determine the reason.