A lot owner from QLD is wondering about false fire alarms. Ben Hall, FCF Fire & Electrical provides the following response.
Question: What does the legislation state around requirements for the management of false fire alarms and fire alarms in general. Should we have a fire warden who organises the evacuation and carries out a head count to ensure all residents have been accounted for?
I live in an apartment complex in Queensland. In the last couple of months we have had 2 false fire alarms. The fact that they were false fire alarms was not discovered until all people had vacated the buildings and the fire brigade had attended.
What concerns me is that there is no organisation of the people who vacate their units. People are standing around both at the front of the buildings near entries and in any other free space in the main court area. There is no one who seems to take charge and gets people to move to a designated meeting areas. No one counts heads and ensures everyone is out of the building. There are no designated wardens, in fact it is just bedlam.
What do the Body Corporate Laws state about this situation and what is required of either the Managers or the Committee when it comes to fire safety in the case of fire alarms and false fire alarms. I’m very concerned that one day an elder member will be left in their Apartment and if it is not a false fire alarms, they may die.
Answer: Many owners / managers are unaware of their duties!
It is a common problem and many owners/managers are unaware of their duties! Depending on the size of the building you may need a Fire Safety Advisor (FSA) and you need to form an Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) which advises and establishes an Emergency Control Organisation (ECO).
I highly recommend reading AS3745-2010 – Planning for Emergencies in Facilities. I have attached an Info sheet from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to explain the role of the Fire Safety Advisor.
At the end of the day its about covering your backside and minimising risk should a situation occur.
This post appears in Strata News #191.
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