In light of the recent announcement that the Queensland Government has restricted the use of firefighting foams containing PFOA, Wormald has re-affirmed its commitment to providing fire suppression solutions that limit impacts on the environment.
The use of firefighting foams remains an important element of effectively suppressing a fire quickly to help reduce substantial and lasting damage to the environment, people and property. However, Wormald recognises that the use of firefighting foams has impacts on the environment if not properly controlled and that there needs to be a balance between dealing with a fire event effectively using firefighting foams and what impacts to the environment the use of firefighting foams will create. Continue reading
As part of our commitment to provide industry leading training to our field technicians, the Wormald teams in the Northern Territory and Wollongong are the first to be accredited under the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS).
This comes as the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service has issued an advisory note in relation to Australian Standard AS 1851-2012 Routine Service of fire protection systems and equipment, acknowledging that accreditation via FPAS demonstrates that individuals are competent, have relevant experience and insurance, and are committed to a professional code of conduct. Continue reading
Scott Williams (FPA Australia CEO); Barry Lee and Andrew Lee (Wormald CEO) pictured with winner of the Barry Lee Technical Excellence Award, Andre Mierzwa (supplied by the FPA Australia)
Wormald was proud to sponsor the Barry Lee Technical Excellence Award at the inaugural 2016 Fire Protection Industry Awards, given its 125-year history in providing fire protection solutions for some of Australia’s most iconic industries and infrastructure.
The team at Wormald is pleased to congratulate the winner of the Award, Andre Mierzwa. Andre is the Operations Chief Engineer at global insurance underwriter, FM Global. He has made important contributions to technical standards in Australia’s fire protection industry, most recently to Australian Standard AS2118.1-2016 Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems. He is an industry leader with more than four decades of experience across Australia, Europe, Asia and the USA. Continue reading
Wormald has committed to a nationally-harmonised industry accreditation scheme to formally recognise the skills of its 600 plus team of inspect and test technicians by 2020.
The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) is a two-stage accreditation scheme offered by Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPA Australia). It recognises the skills and competencies of individuals working in the fire protection industry across all state and territory jurisdictions in Australia.
The move comes as State Governments and the industry continue to push for stronger quality controls in the design, installation and maintenance of fire safety systems. Continue reading
Charles Hammersla, National Facilities & Compliance Manager at Kmart Australia answers our questions about fire safety in the retail environment.
Charles Hammersla, National Facilities & Compliance Manager at Kmart Australia
1. What fire protection challenges do retailers face?
Retailers have a duty of care to our teams and customers to protect them from fire risks when they visit or work in our premises. Generally, our stores are consistent in terms of merchandise mix and we also try to deliver a consistent shop floor layout. What this means is that our fire protection strategies can also be consistent across our stores.
The main challenge we tend to face is the human element – to keep the focus of our teams on maintaining general housekeeping standards, including those relating to sprinkler head or switchboard clearances, and egress path blockages.
Principally this means that we need to be consistent around our fire protection approach – and make it as easy as possible to control risks in our environments. Continue reading
Owners and operators of mobile and transportable equipment are urged to familiarise themselves with the recently announced changes to Australian Standard AS 5062-2016 Fire protection for mobile and transportable equipment.
With new requirements for maintenance including routine service tolerance frequencies, baseline data reporting and risk assessment, the revised standard promotes improved fire safety for mobile plant used in transport, mining, forestry, civil works and port facilities. Continue reading
The retail environment is constantly evolving to accommodate changing shopper behaviour and the need to drive sales. This can give rise to unique fire safety challenges, particularly in relation to the maintenance and servicing of fire safety systems and equipment.
Every time a wall is moved, store lay-outs are altered or stock levels increase, fire protection requirements may change. For example, moving displays at entryways may alter emergency exit paths, or storing excess stock in vacant change rooms can add fuel to a fire. These changes may require sprinklers to be moved or installation of additional sprinklers.
A fire in a retail environment can have devastating and costly consequences. Harm to staff and shoppers aside, a fire incident can permanently damage stock, bring operations to a standstill and have expensive legal ramifications. When an Asos factory in the UK went up in flames in June 2014, the retailer lost more than 20 per cent of stock stored on site and suspended orders for 48 hours. The blaze reportedly cost the retailer up to £30 million in lost sales. Continue reading
As Wormald urges national businesses to adopt Australian Standard AS1851-2012 as a standard operating procedure across all operations, facility managers and building owners are faced with the challenge of evaluating how their fire protection systems are being maintained and serviced.
While implementing a nationally consistent approach can help to deliver efficiency and cost savings, the transition may initially be overwhelming as new systems for fire safety audits, the categorisation of fire safety defects, record-keeping and reporting are introduced.
With so much to consider, it is important not to cut corners. AS1851-2012 lays out strict compliance requirements to ensure fire protection equipment is in proper working order when it’s needed most. Appointing a reputable fire protection provider can assist with developing, implementing and maintaining a comprehensive program to address the most stringent needs. Continue reading
Following the Victorian Government’s adoption of Australian Standard AS 1851-2012 Routine service of fire protection systems and equipment for all new and existing buildings, Wormald is urging national businesses to streamline the maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment across all their operations.
Historically, the routine servicing of fire protection systems and equipment has been regulated differently in each state and territory.
For those businesses operating across multiple states or indeed nationwide, this has meant taking an inefficient, siloed approach to fire safety.
As Victoria joins all other Australian states and territories in adopting AS1851, a new national benchmark for best-practice has been set. Building owners and occupiers are encouraged to adopt this as standard operating procedure. Continue reading
As procurement teams in the industrial, construction and mining sectors continue to streamline operations and rationalise suppliers, cost and efficiency are becoming the key drivers behind the purchase of fire protection systems.
While these are important considerations, this should never be at the expense of life safety.
Effective procurement of a fire protection provider involves a careful and consultative approach to establish the best fit for your organisation.
As a shared responsibility, it is essential that all those involved in fire safety (including procurement departments, health and safety teams, and on-site management) invest in quality fire protection solutions.
Appointing a reliable and quality fire protection provider requires careful consideration of a number of factors, including those set out below. Continue reading