What to do when your building has been deemed unsafe
A Council Fire Order is a document that is served when your building has been deemed unsafe for its users. These orders are typically requiring an upgrade to the building’s safety systems and are given after a fire safety audit inspection is completed, whether it’s random or was requested. Your local Council may maintain a risk register or be alerted to risks by members of the public, your local Fire Brigade or Fire Engineering professionals.
High Risk Buildings
Buildings which have high density populations are at a higher risk than single use office spaces, such as:
- Residential towers
- Boarding houses
- Highrise mixed use buildings.
The older the building, the more at risk it may be, due to outdated fire safety equipment and emergency signage. As you would have seen in home renovation shows, when they convert an old warehouse into apartments, there is a lot of red tape that must be worked through to ensure that the building is brought up to code.
Why was I Issued a Council Fire Order?
We have listed below some of the reasons a council fire order may have been issued. It’s important to note that the changes must be completed within 6 months of the date on the order. Not complying with the order can lead to penalties and fines.
- There is a current essential fire safety schedule for the building.
- To ensure the occupants of the building are provided the appropriate levels of fire safety.
- An inspection showed that the current measures weren’t up to code.
How to Handle a Fire Order
If that sounds like a lot to work through, or it has left you completely in the dark, don’t worry – Adair Fire Audits and Certification PYT LTDare here with our partners to help you complete your council fire order:
- Contact a Fire Engineer or Project Manager such as Adair Fire Audits.
- Meet with the Council to discuss their specific concerns.
- Together with your team, create a Fire Safety Strategy plan to discuss with the Council at a second meeting.
- Audit, design, and coordinate the rectification works.
- Hire a builder such as Redman to install the relevant fire systems and safety products.
- Consider also contacting a company such as Safety Maps to design and install safety and emergency signage for your building.
- Upon completion, your Council will inspect the work before closing out the fire order.\
- After everything has been approved the next step is to develop a fire safety schedule that will form the basis of your Annual Fire Safety Statement, moving forward.
Ways to Improve Your Building’s Fire Safety Rating
Ensuring that your building complies with the BCA can be complicated, so finding the right company to help you upgrade or install your systems is important, but we have listed a few key points below, to guide you – just click on each one to find out more:
- Fire doors
- Smoke alarms
- Fire safety systems
- Maintenance services
- Emergency Signage
- Emergency procedure training.
Ensure that your building has the appropriate fire doors installed in accordance with clause C3.11 of the National Construction Code – self-closing doors can help save lives in case of fire.
Smoke alarm systems that comply with clause 3 or 4 of specification E2.2a must be powered from mains and have a battery backup.
Companies such as Redmen specialise in installing fire prevention, detection and extinguishing systems for large scale situations such as residential towers or businesses. While typical service agreements mean you may end up paying extra for priority service when a problem occurs, Redmen Fire Protection Management provides total breakdown and maintenance of your fire protection systems for a fixed quarterly premium.
Choosing a Redmen Comprehensive Maintenance Plan offers you peace of mind, allowing for accurate budgeting and cash flow management, and protects you from the operational challenges that sudden and unexpected equipment failure can create.
Making sure that your building has proper safety and emergency signage is another good way to increase your fire safety rating. Companies like our partner, Safety Maps, specialise in providing safety maps and emergency signage to help you protect and inform your team, visitors, and tenants.
Safety Maps consultancy will take you through each step of the design process to incorporate what you want for a fully customised sign, and safety plan.
While not a part of the fire safety rating, hiring consultants such as Adair Evacuation Consultants to help develop and train your team in Emergency Procedures can go a long way towards minimising the risks.
Adair’s staff training covers staff and residential awareness by introducing them to the emergency evacuation plan, who’s in charge and what they are expected to do, and how they will be notified of an emergency. They also provide warden training covering the basic principles of emergency evacuation, use of fire-fighting equipment and an explanation of the evacuation diagram and their roles.
Contact Adair Fire audits and their partners to ensure the fire safety of your building
Getting a Council Fire Order may seem overwhelming and potentially expensive, however there are many options and resources available through Adair Fire Audits and our partners to help make the process easier.
By being on top of fire safety and completing your building’s yearly Fire Safety Certification, you are on your way to having a fire safe building and protecting the lives of your people and visitors.