Fire safety a hot topic

Fire safety audits of workplace and commercial buildings have uncovered so many non-compliances that the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service will take a stand and run a seminar at the Qld Safety Show to get the attention of industry.

“We will be at the Queensland Safety Show to get the message through that fire safety is an essential part of running any workplace or business,” says the Fire and Rescue Service’s John Harrison. “Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has a zero harm policy that also applies to our fire-fighters. If your hydrants aren’t working, for example, you’re putting the fire-fighters at extra risk.”

“One of the fire safety installations that cause the service most concern is the fire door, which must be serviced by a licensed person every six months. People don’t realise they have to get them serviced or that they are fire doors. The tags come off, they are painted over, or locksmiths fit non-compliant locks.”

On the other hand, fire safety installations with much longer service intervals can also catch building occupiers off-guard during an audit. Sprinkler systems have a 24-year maintenance cycle and while keeping records for such a period can be a challenge, the Qld regulations have almost every eventuality covered. Records must be handed over when there is a change of occupancy and kept safe in the event of fire and an extra copy stored off-site.

“Qld has Australia’s most rigorous fire safety legislation. Other states aspire to match it and look to us as a model,” says John Harrison.

Forged from the horror of the Whisky au Go Go fire that killed 15 people in 1973, the State’s Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008, together with the Qld Development Code, are demanding.

At the Fire and Rescue Service’s Queensland Safety Show seminar, John Harrison will explain three of the main principles underpinning the regulations:

  • The maintenance of fire safety installations
  • Fire evacuation instructions to the occupants of a building and
  • Fire evacuation plans and diagrams.

The Qld Fire and Rescue Service presentation is part of a line-up of very practical free workplace safety seminars at the Qld Safety Show.

Experts will explain how to attract funding, what to expect from new WHS laws, how to
meet obligations manageably and within budget.

The Qld Safety Show will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from June 21-23.

Australian Exhibitions & Conferences Pty Ltd
Ph: 03 9654 7773