Class 1 dwellings now required to install interconnecting smoke alarms

Exelgard Smoke Alarm Install

By John Lynch, General Manager, Wormald Business Support Services

Recent changes to the Building Code of Australia (BCA) 2014 now stipulate that new Class 1 buildings that require more than one smoke alarm, need to be fitted with interconnecting smoke alarms.

The new change, which came into effect on 1 May 2014, aims to improve the early response rate to residential fires, so that when one smoke alarm in a building is triggered, all others installed in the same building will also be activated. This change will be particularly beneficial for two storey buildings or homes where bedrooms are separated by living areas.

Currently, the layout of some homes can create a situation where sleeping occupants in different parts of the home may not be alerted to the presence of a fire. Interconnected smoke alarms will ensure that if an alarm is triggered in one part of the home, all other alarms will be activated.

It is hoped that the change will help to save more lives and see fewer people injured in house fires.

The changes are particularly relevant for the following stakeholders involved with newly built homes:

  • Those involved in the installation of smoke alarms, such as electricians and builders
  • Architects, building designers and building surveyors
  • Real estate agents and settlement agents

For further details on the code changes, contact the Australian Building Codes Board on 1300 134 631 or visit their website http://www.abcb.gov.au/.

Keeping up to date with fire safety standards

By Garry Kwok, National Technical Services Manager at Wormald

Wormald maintenanceFire safety is an important responsibility for any building or property manager.  They must ensure that the correct fire protection equipment and systems are in place.  They must also make sure that any fire protection equipment and systems on site are regularly serviced and kept in proper working order.

With frequent changes to legislation, codes and Standards relating to fire safety, it can be hard to keep up with exactly what your responsibilities are.  In the recent Wormald Business Fire Safety Report, we surveyed 445 business owners and managers from across ANZ about their approach to fire safety.  The survey found that over 30 per cent of respondents rely on their fire protection specialist to keep them up to date.  Here’s a synopsis of a few amendments from the past eighteen months: Continue reading

Keeping up to date with AS 3745 – 2010

By Garry Kwok, national manager, Technical Services Group, Wormald Australia

Wormald recently held a customer forum to discuss the changes to the Australian Standard AS 3745-2010 – Planning for emergencies in facilities. Our experts talked through the most significant differences between the AS 3745-2002 and the updated AS 3745-2010.

AS 3745 – Planning for emergencies in facilities provides a standardised methodology for managing emergency procedures and evacuations in the workplace. The Standard was first published in 1990 and was revised in 1995 and 2002. This fourth edition, released in November 2010, has changes affecting areas such as planning, procedures and training. Continue reading