List of Essential Safety Measures

  • Essential safety measures are the fire, life safety and health items installed or constructed in a building to ensure adequate levels of fire safety and protection over the life of the building.
    Essential safety measures include building fire services such as sprinklers and mechanical services and also include passive fire safety measures such as fire doors, fire-rated structures and measures such as paths of travel to exits.

  • Air conditioning systems - installed

  • Air conditioning systems - maintained

  • Emergency lighting - installed

  • Emergency lighting - maintained

  • Exit signs - installed

  • Exit signs - maintained

  • Exit doors - installed

  • Exit doors - maintained

  • Emergency power supply - installed

  • Emergency power supply - maintained

  • Fire doors - installed

  • Fire doors - maintained

  • Emergency warning systems - installed

  • Emergency warning systems - maintained

  • Fire extinguishers and fire hose reels - installed

  • Fire extinguishers and fire hose reels - maintained

  • Fire hydrants - installed

  • Fire hydrants - maintained

  • Mechanical ventilation - installed

  • Mechanical ventilation - maintained

  • Path of travel to exits - installed

  • Path of travel to exits - maintained

  • Smoke alarms - installed

  • Smoke alarms - maintained

Records

  • There is a requirement for the safe storage and handling of records relating to essential safety measures to preserve them in the event of a fire.

  • Are all records relating to essential services kept in a manner that will preserve them in the event of fire?

  • Has an Occupier’s Statement been compiled? (Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008 Part 5 55A)

  • Do the records indicate that NO Critical Defects have been raised? (Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 Part 5 Division 3 54

  • If a Critical Defect was raised has it been corrected? (Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 Part 5 Division 3 54)

  • Is a Certificate of Classification displayed in a prominent place? [Queensland Building Act 1975 Section 108A(2)]

  • Any recommendations?

Means of escape

  • The means of escape and emergency egress routes, which will include fire stairs, must be clearly identified and provide a safe and unobstructed passage at all times. The emergency exit doors must be able to be opened from within without the use of a key.
    The person conducting the Fire Safety Check is to inspect all emergency exit routes, exit doors, emergency ramps and fire stairs.
    Reference: Building Code of Australia D2.21, D2.23

  • Are emergency exit doors and doors in path of travel within a route of egress readily operable from the side from which egress is sought by a single hand and without the use of a key? (Ref: BCA D2.21 A)

  • Is the width of all routes of egress maintained at a minimum of one metre and is the path of travel clear of obstructions? (Wider widths are required in certain areas?) (Ref: BCA D1.6)

  • Is the surface of the flooring in good condition?

  • Are the emergency exit stairs in good condition and free of obstructions?

  • Are external exit routes in good condition? Not slippery, no trip hazards (uneven or unpaved ground)?

  • Are the external paths of travel from exit doors leading away from the building clear of any obstructions and is the width maintained?

  • Are the “terminal” required emergency exit doors sign posted internally and externally? e.g. FIRE SAFETY DOOR - DO NOT OBSTRUCT. (Ref: BCA D2.23)

  • Any recommendations?

Exit signs

  • An Exit Sign must be clearly visible to persons approaching the exit and must be installed on, above or adjacent to:
    (i) each door providing direct access from a storey to an enclosed stairway, passageway or ramp serving as a required exit;
    (ii) each door to an external stairway, passageway or ramp serving as a required exit;
    (iii) each door leading to an external balcony leading to a required exit;
    (iv) each door leading from an enclosed stairway, passageway or ramp leading to a road or open space;
    (v) a horizontal exit; and
    (vi) doors serving as, or forming part of, a required exit in a storey required to be provided with emergency lighting.
    An inspection of Exit Signs is to be carried out. If an exit is not readily visible, then intermediate signs are to be installed and fitted with directional arrows. Visually check signs for damage or missing components and operate the test switch. (Illuminated Exit Signs normally have a test button on the bottom or side of the light fitting)
    The Building Code of Australia (BCA) requires that exit signs be illuminated at a level sufficient for them to be clearly visible at all times when the building is occupied by any person having the right of legal entry to the building.
    Exit signs are subjected to 6 and 12 monthly testing by competent persons.
    Reference: Building Code of Australia E4 and AS/NZS 2293.2/3

  • Are exit signs free from damage?

  • Are all signs securely mounted?

  • Are exit signs clearly visible and do all directional signs indicate the direction of travel to the exit? Eg arrows fitted. (Ref: BCA E4.6)

  • Are all illuminated signs serviceable? (Sign is illuminating under battery power when test switch is operated)

  • Is the visual indicator glowing?
    (Six-month discharge test indication is, steady – normal state, slow flash – recently tested and complies, fast flash – tested and failed) (Ref: AS 2293.3 Sec 4.8.3)

  • Is there a Maintenance Record Logbook for the illuminated Exit Signs and is it up to date? (Ref: AS 2293.2 Sec 1.4.2)

  • Any recommendations?

Emergency Lighting

  • Part E4.2 of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) requires that emergency lighting be installed in every fire isolated stairway, fire isolated ramp or fire isolated passageway and every storey of a Class 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building where the storey has a floor area of more than 300 m2.
    In the second case the lighting must be installed in every passageway, corridor, hallway or the like that is part of the path of travel to and exit and in every room that has a floor area more than 300 m2. Further requirements can be found at BCA Part 4.2 c to h.
    During inspection check for damage and operate the test switch on all Emergency Luminaires. Emergency luminaries are subjected to 6 and 12 monthly testing by contractors.
    Within stairways a single, bold, contrasting stripe set back about 35 mm from the front edge of each tread on a stairway helps to make descent of the stairway quicker and safer in an emergency. This form of stripe is more effective than multiple stripes, especially in the relatively dim illumination provided by an emergency lighting installation.
    Reference: Building Code of Australia E4 and AS/NZS 2293.2/3

  • Are individual lights undamaged?

  • Are lights securely mounted?

  • Are lights free of obstructions?

  • Does the light operate in battery mode when test switch is pushed? (this is a random check of a sample of emergency lights to provide verification of maintenance records)

  • Is the red charge indicator light glowing?
    (Six-month discharge test indication, steady – normal state, slow flash – recently tested and complies, fast flash – tested and failed) (Ref: AS 2293.3 Sec 4.8.3)

  • Is a Maintenance Record Log available and is it up to date? (Ref: AS 2293.2 Sec 1.4.2)

  • Any recommendations?

Compartmentation

  • A rated fire door is installed across an opening in a fire wall to maintain the fire resistance rating of that fire wall. This can be via a horizontal exit that passes through a compartment wall or at the access point to the fire stairs.
    Smoke control doors are designed to allow occupants a safe path of travel to an emergency exit in the event of fire by restricting the impact of smoke on that path of travel.
    The basis of maintenance for compartment integrity is to identify the respective vertical and horizontal barriers and their respective fire-resistance level (FRL) or smoke containment requirements and to ensure all openings or service penetrations and control joints in these barriers do not compromise the performance requirements relating to fire and smoke compartmentation.
    The basis of maintenance for structural fire-resistance elements is to identify all the structural elements (beams, columns, girders and trusses), and their respective fire-resistance level (FRL) requirements and to ensure adequate fire protection coverings are incorporated at the correct thickness and that they are in good condition.
    A sign to alert persons that the operation of smoke control doors must not be impaired must be installed where it can be readily seen on, or adjacent to, a required smoke door on the side that faces a person seeking egress.

  • Metal tags
    The following provisions shall apply with regard to metal tags:
    a. Dimensions. The dimensions of the metal tags for marking shall be not less than 50 mm × 25 mm.
    b. Method of marking. The required information shall be etched, embossed or stamped on the metal tags so that it is recessed or projected not less than 0.25 mm below or above the surface of the tag. Alphabetic or numeric characters shall be not less than 1.5 mm high.
    c. Location. The location of the tags shall be as follows:
    (i) Horizontally sliding door sets. For horizontally sliding door sets, the tags shall be fixed to the trailing edge of the door leaf at approximately 1.5 m above floor level and to the doorframe, if any, at approximately the same height.
    (ii) Side-hung door sets. For side-hung door sets the tags shall be fixed to the edge of the hinge stile of the door leaf and to the doorframe at approximately 1.5 m above floor level.
    (iii) Two-leafed door sets. Each leaf of a two-leafed door set shall be tagged.
    (iv) Tag installation. Where the installation of a tag on the edge of the door is likely to compromise the performance of the door, the tag shall be relocated to the face of the door leaf at its top hinged corner.
    d. Method of fixing. The tags shall be firmly fixed to minimize the possibility of detachment during the service life of the door set.
    Signs
    A sign to alert persons that the operation of fire doors must not be impaired must be installed where it can be readily seen on, or adjacent to, a required fire door providing direct access to a fire isolated exit on the side that faces a person seeking egress.
    Checking
    Check fire rated/smoke control doors for latching, where hold open devices are installed press test switch and ensure door latches fully.
    Penetrations through firewalls and floors must be sealed with fire stopping material to prevent the spread of fire. Fire stop pillows may be used as an interim measure during work on the penetration.
    Visually inspect firewalls and floors for fire stopping of penetrations.
    Test periods are Three-monthly, Six-monthly and Annually.

    Reference: Building Code of Australia D 2.20/2.20, Specification C3.15 – 4/7, AS1851-2012 Section 17 TABLE 17.4.3.1 and AS1905.1/2-2005. Building Code of Australia E2 and AS/NZS 1668.1

  • Were the closing mechanisms for the fire rated/smoke control doors free of damage and did they function correctly? (Ref: AS 1851-2012)

  • Are the fire rated/smoke control doors free of obstructions, which would prevent closure? (eg wedges, heavy objects, cabin hooks) (Ref: AS 1851.7 Sec 4)

  • Were the fire rated/smoke control doors free of damage and penetrations?

  • If fitted, is the electromagnetic device functioning? (The fire rated/smoke control door must release when test button is operated). (Ref: AS 1851-2012)

  • Is only approved signage affixed to the fire rated/smoke control door? (e.g. FIRE SAFETY DOOR - DO NOT OBSTRUCT) (Ref: BCA D2.23)

  • Are metal tags affixed to the fire rated / smoke control door and door-set? (Ref AS1905.1-2005 Section6) (Ref: AS 1851-2012)

  • Was the maintenance record for the fire rated/smoke control door/s sighted and was it up to date? (Ref: AS 1851-2012)

  • Are firewalls, floors and partitions free of damage?

  • Are penetrations of services, such as electrical cables and plumbing, fire stopped?

  • Any recommendations?

Fire Extinguishers

  • Fire extinguishers must be installed to the degree necessary to allow occupants to safely undertake initial attack on a fire appropriate to:
    a. the size of the fire compartment
    b. the function or use of the building;
    c. any further fire safety systems installed in the building; and
    d. the fire hazard.
    Primary extinguisher protection (AS 2444-2001 Sec 4.2.1)
    For Class A fire risks, extinguishers shall be distributed in accordance with Table 4.1 of AS 2444. Notwithstanding the requirements of Table 4.1, the travel distance from any point to the nearest extinguisher shall be not greater than 15 metres.
    Office electrical and electronic risks (AS 2444-2001 Sec 4.4.3)
    The maximum distance from an extinguisher’s normal location to the risk shall be either—
    (a) 20 metres, in areas where there is a large density of electrical/electronic equipment (e.g. computer centres, broadcasting studios, telephone exchange equipment rooms and the like); or
    (b) 40 metres, in areas where there is a lesser distribution of electrical/electronic equipment (e.g. offices using computers and photocopiers).
    Inspect each fire extinguisher as marked on the Emergency Procedure Plan for that floor/zone to ensure they are correctly identified, unobstructed and serviceable for use in an emergency. The extinguishers should be mounted in the path of travel to an exit.
    Appropriate location signs should be mounted above the extinguisher so that the position is visible from at least 20 metres.

  • Are all fire extinguishers at their signed mounting point? (Ref: AS 1851-2012)

  • Is signage designating the fire extinguisher in place? AS 2444 Section 3/Ref: AS 1851-2012)

  • Are the fire extinguisher brackets securely mounted? (Ref: AS 1851-2012)

  • Is access to the equipment unobstructed? (Ref: AS 1851-2012)

  • Do all fire extinguishers appear serviceable, have the pin in place and are anti-tamper seals fitted? (Ref: AS 1851-2012)

  • Do the types and sizes of fire extinguishers appear adequate and appropriate for the hazard and environmental demand? (Ref: AS 1851-2012)

  • Is the date of last service by contractor within 6 months? (check maintenance record tag) (Ref: AS 1851-2012)

  • Any recommendations?

Fire hose reels

  • A fire hose reel system must be installed to the degree necessary to allow occupants to safely undertake initial attack on a fire appropriate to:
    a. the size of the fire compartment
    b. the function or use of the building;
    c. any further fire safety systems installed in the building; and
    d. the fire hazard.

  • Is signage designating the operating procedure for the hose reel in place on the drum and legible? (Ref: AS 1221 Sec 4.3 (e)/AS 185)

  • If the hose reel is mounted in a cabinet is the door of the cabinet sign posted? (Ref: AS 2441 Sec 10.4.4)

  • Are hoses neatly rolled with the nozzle secured in the interlock (if fitted)? (Ref: AS 1851)

  • Does the check indicate if the hose and reel are undamaged? (is there visible evidence of leaks and is it securely mounted?) (Ref: AS 1851)

  • Is access to the fire hose reel unobstructed? (Ref: AS 2441 Sec 10.1 wall mounted & 10.4.4 for cabinets)

  • Is the maintenance record tag in place and within date? (Ref AS 1851)

  • Any recommendations?

Emergency Procedures

  • Australian Standard 3745-2010 details the requirements for having written emergency procedures, the establishment of an Emergency Control Organisation and the need to train all staff on the facilities emergency response procedures on a regular basis.
    Emergency Plans
    An emergency plan must be developed for every facility and must detail the facilities arrangements, systems, strategies and procedures that relate to the management and response to emergencies. The plan must include a clear identification of the fire safety and emergency features of the facility, the roles and responsibilities of the Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) and the facilities emergency response procedures and training arrangements.
    Emergency Control Organisation
    An Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) is required to direct and control the implementation of the emergency response procedures within facilities and must manage an appropriate emergency response to emergencies which prioritises the safety of occupants and visitors.
    Evacuation Diagrams
    Facilities are required to display evacuation diagrams which have been correctly orientated in regards to the direction of egress and the location of a ‘You Are Here’ point relative to a person viewing the evacuation diagram. The Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) shall determine the location and number of evacuation diagrams, which are to be displayed where occupants and visitors are best able to view them.
    Training
    Training must be provided to at least one member of the Emergency Planning Committee (EPC), the Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) and for all facility occupants upon the commencement of their duties and at intervals of not more than 12 months. Training should be conducted by a competent person, be based on the facilities emergency response procedures and ensure that participants have sufficient knowledge to understand and react to emergencies according to the facilities emergency response procedures.
    Inspection and Testing
    Section 14 and Appendix J of Australian Standard (AS) 1851-2012 details the requirements for inspection, checking and test of Emergency Planning in Facilities.

  • Are the written Emergency Response Procedures compliant with AS 3745-2010, in place and readily available? (Ref: AS 3745 Sec 3.4)

  • Are orientated Evacuation Diagram signs compliant with the recommendations of AS 3745-2010 in place? (Ref: AS 3745-2010 Sec 3.5.4)

  • Is there an established Emergency Control Organization (ECO)? (Ref: AS 3745-2010 Sec 2.2 & Sec 5)

  • Has there been a full evacuation of the site within the last 12 months? (Ref: AS 3745 Sec 7.2 -7.3)

  • Is the ECO Warden Register up to date? (Ref: 3745 Sec 5.2)

  • Is the Assembly Area current? (Ref: AS 3745 Sec 4.2.6.5)

  • Is all ECO equipment in the correct location and in good condition? (eg. helmets) Ref: AS 3745-25010 5.8)

  • Are records available for the ECO training?

  • If this is a high occupancy building/tenancy (30 or more workers are normally employed) has a Fire Safety Adviser been appointed? (BFSR 2008 Part 4, Division 6, Subdivision 2, Section 34)

  • If this is a low occupancy facility, has a person been appointed and trained in the role of Evacuation Coordinator? (BFSR 2008 Part 4, Division 6, Subdivision 2, Section 42)

  • Has occupant General Evacuation Instruction and First Response Evacuation Instruction been conducted and are records being maintained? (BFSR 2008 Part 4, Division 6, Subdivision 3, Section 35 & Division 6, Subdivision 3, Section 36)

  • Any recommendations?

Housekeeping

  • A good standard of housekeeping is required to ensure the environment of the complex is maintained in a fire safe state. To this end a general inspection internally and externally is required to detect hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions.
    General Reference: AS 1851-2012 Appendix J Table J6

  • Are waste receptacles emptied on a regular basis?

  • Is a designated external area declared for storage of waste combustible materials?

  • Is the external combustible waste storage area clear of the building/s?

  • Is the building clear of an exposure risk from the external storage of waste/combustible materials?

  • Is vegetation clear of buildings and storage areas?

  • Any recommendations?

Electrical equipment

  • A visual inspection is to be carried out on electrical appliances, leads and installations. A system of regular maintenance/checking by a competent person should also be in place.
    Check at the mains power board for any installed maintained Residual Current Devices (RCD) and verify that records of maintenance for the RCD are in place and up to date.
    As a defined risk, any cabinet housing live electrical distribution equipment should have appropriate warning signs displayed to deter the use of inappropriate firefighting mediums such as water in the event of a fire occurring.
    If portable Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units are in use, ensure that the unit is on a non-combustible stand (off carpeted or combustible floor coverings) and clear of combustible materials.

  • Do electrical appliances and installations appear to be in good condition?

  • Are all fluorescent lights within the structure operating correctly?

  • Is combustible material stored outside one metre of electrical equipment?

  • Are distribution boards clearly marked?
    Eg ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION BOARD No 2 – CAUTION ELECTRICAL HAZARD

  • Have electrical appliance been checked by a competent person, and tagged as such to indicate serviceability? (Australian & New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3760-2010)

  • Are switch/plant rooms clear of combustible stores, dust and litter?

  • Any recommendations?

Hazardous Materials

  • There is a legislative requirement for the storage and handling of hazardous materials, including separation distances and storage locations. This check relates to basic fire safety precautions only and is based on the assumption that the installation/s is/are compliant with the legislative requirements.

  • Is HAZCHEM signage displayed at the entry point to the site, on bulk storage containers and buildings?

  • Are Safety Data Sheets (SDS) in place for all hazardous materials on site?

  • Are the SD Sheets readily available?

  • Is there a procedure in place for a HAZMAT incident?

  • Are emergency contact numbers in place and up to date?

  • Is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available and is it adequate?

  • Are bulk storage containers and fittings in good condition? (eg LPG tanks)

  • Are bollards for impact protection of bulk storage container/s adequate?

  • Is the area around the bulk storage container clear of combustible materials and vegetation?

  • Any recommendations?

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