Caution! Alterations to your building may impact your fire services

Caution! Alterations to your building may impact your fire services

Alterations to office partitions and other internal building changes can have a significant negative impact on fire safety. Because most building owners, facility managers and tenants don’t have a solid understanding of the fire safety implications for new fit-outs (or changes in occupancy use), it is important to first talk to the experts.

In addition to gaining fire safety advice upfront, regular fire safety inspections are critical to identify changes in a building that might affect the existing fire systems installed.  As an example, alterations to a building’s layout may affect the spacing between some of your fire services. To remain compliant, you may need to relocate existing equipment or install additional equipment.

Before undertaking any building alterations, it is important to first check with the experts. Advice from fire safety experts will save you money in the long term and ensure that your systems operate at the required level of performance, fulfilling their purpose.

Did you know that alterations and additions to fixed fire systems require a Building Permit?

Another important factor that is often overlooked is if you are changing the usage in occupation of your building. This may mean that your current installed fire systems may no longer be adequate.

At Essential Safety Solutions we regularly assist clients looking to make internal changes to their buildings or when there is a change in occupancy use. It is important that you engage a professional service to assist you through this process:

  • Engage a Fire Engineer to create a fire service design report including calculations and drawings of an approved design. The design will need to comply with the requirements of the BCA and requirements of the relevant Australian Standards. The engineer will prepare a Fire Services Design Phase Schematic suitable for a Building Permit.
  • Engage an experienced Building Surveyor to review the Design Phase Schematic and conduct an inspection of the building. If in order, the building survey will issue a Building Permit with or without conditions.
  • Once a Building Permit is obtained, amendments can be made based on the approved design and drawings provided by the engineer.

Essential Safety Solutions works with a wide range of clients providing a service to building owners for the maintenance of essential safety measures in buildings. We routinely help our clients in educating them and stepping them through the complex Regulations and BCA as they relate to their building.

So if you are considering refurbishment building works, changes in building use, or to ensure your tenants have not made any changes which inadvertently compromise active and/or passive fire safety systems, talk to the experts at Essential Safety Solutions on 1300 151 056 for the best possible advice.