Fire hose reel regulations in NSW are some of the most stringent around the world. Australia, in general, takes fire protection systems very seriously. This comes as no surprise, especially during the summer, when bushfires are a huge risk.
NSW, in particular, got hit by a major bushfire crisis from September 2019 to March 2020. Fire does not discriminate. Homes, businesses, and even protected areas took significant losses.
The possibility of this happening every year is high and not having adequate fire protection is a risk not worth taking. Especially when you consider the standard fire hazards everyone faces.
This makes checking your fire protection systems a priority. It doesn’t matter if your space is residential, commercial, or industrial. There’s even more at risk if your business or livelihood depends on it.
This is why an ultimate checklist for testing all fire protection systems is a necessity. Read on to discover if you’ve completed your fire protection system checks properly.
Fire Protection Systems: What You Need To Know
Having everything you’ve ever known and earned engulfed in flames is devastating. It’s shown that bushfires have caused severe trauma impacting mental health. Imagine if you knew that such fires may have been something you could have prevented?
There are several providers in Australia who can advise on fire prevention but many Australians are unaware of even the basic requirements of fire protection systems. So what do you need to know?
Apart from understanding what and how fire protection systems work, it’s also important to understand the compliance requirements. A crucial aspect of fire protection systems is the abidance of AS 1851. This is also known as Australian Standards 185.
Part of the many rules you have to follow include fire hose reel regulations in New South Wales. These stipulate that a fire hose reel must be within 4 meters of an exit or on a reasonable travel path to the exit. These should be accessible without pulling the hose through an engulfed area.
Providing a clear path for the use of these hose reels is among the many requirements you’ll need to abide by. Here’s a quick rundown of the fundamentals to get you started.
Get to know the Australian fire protection standards and get fireproofed today.
Passive Fire Protection
Passive Fire Protection is those elements that contain and slow fires down naturally. Using fire-resistant building materials for your walls, ceilings, and flooring all count as passive fire protection.
Fire-proof doors isolate fires to stop them from spreading. Fire-resistant paints can also be a great help.
Your checklist should make sure there’s no damage or faults in these important areas. Cracks and chips can be pressure points that could collapse during a fire or fireball. Gaps and loose or unsealed doors will also increase the chances of flames spreading.
Firestops are a crucial element you need to check to keep smoke and fire contained. You should test the endothermic quality of your walls, doors, and other surfaces. Proper quality control will expose them to controlled fire to detect and evaluate shortcomings.
Another thing to check is the water content of your surfaces and firestops. Too much water in your concrete or other materials can be dangerous. The pressure of the steam from the heat of a fire can cause structural failures or even explosions.
Build everything up to code and ensure proper fireproofing. Depending on the type of establishment you have, there are other specifications required. Restaurants, for example, follow certain codes to mitigate the spread of grease trap fires.
Perform fire exposure tests as part of your checklist, and check for fit and finish of your fireproofing. Most of all, make sure you follow your local code and guidelines. The NSW government and authorities set stringent regulations for passive fire protection.
Active Fire Protection
Active Fire Protection includes fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire hoses, and suppression systems. They work by actively reducing the spread and damage of fires. They also detect and warn others if a fire should occur.
Smoke detectors and fire alarms are crucial for early response to evacuate or fight the fire. Your checklist should make sure these systems run at full capacity and full battery. Run controlled tests to assess if they are loud, noticeable, and well-positioned.
Fire alarms are also important, especially for evacuations. Make sure every bell or siren works across the facility. You will need to fix any broken speakers, bells, or connections right away in order to stay compliant.
If you have areas not covered, you may be in breach of local regulations. You should seek to address that immediately and make sure you have full coverage. Awareness and safety are of course the top priority.
Fire suppression is the second role that active systems play. Your checklist should ensure your sprinkler and other suppression systems are in proper function. One of the most crucial aspects to check for is if there are any blind or dead spots.
Ensure water flows and reaches your sprinklers or hoses with total coverage, and your pipes or hoses meet standards. Fire hose reel regulations in New South Wales are strict. For sensitive areas, make sure you have working foam or similar suppression systems.
Water can damage equipment and make fires worse if it’s a grease or electrical fire. Your checklist should evaluate this need and make any required updates or changes.
A Complete Checklist for Fire Protection Systems
Nothing replaces being prepared and prevention. Part of this is making sure you have a robust fire protection systems checklist to test and fix any issues. If you need help on the rules, regulations, and steps, you should take, we are here to help you be fire-safe and compliant.