Victorian Building Regulations have been amended (Building Amendment Regulations 2016) to enable the adoption of the Standard AS1851-2012, at the discretion of the building owner.
With the amendment; Part 1205A, building owners and managers are now enabled in a simple and cost effective manner, to adopt the latest fire protection maintenance standard. The amendment allows AS1851-2012 to be adopted and supersede all other referenced AS1851 editions listed in issued occupancy permits or certificates of final inspection.
The Victorian Building Authority has not yet released an amended Practice Note to qualify the implementation of the amendment.
- The adoption of AS1851-2012 is not mandatory.
- Once adopted, a building owner must continue to apply AS 1851-2012.
- The process of adoption, relevant documentation required and annual contractor certification requirements are described under Section 1 and in each other relevant part of the Standard.
- Where an essential safety measures (ESM) schedule does not list AS1851 as a referenced standard for maintenance, the adoption is not relevant. This would include egress items, measures relating to evacuation procedures, emergency and exit lighting and in some cases, passive items.
- As a part of the amended regulatory requirement, the adoption of AS1851-2012 has to be noted on the issued Annual Essential Safety Measures Report; a relatively simple process given pending cost savings (e.g. for sprinkler systems and fire doors) and simplicity of adoption.
- The Standard is performance based – to the approved design of the system. If the system performance requirements are unknown, they will have to be established.
- There is no requirement to upgrade plant and equipment to comply with the Standard routine service lists.
- All service records have to be left in hard copy on site on completion of each service routine.
- Some additional data may be required such as equipment registers, and sprinkler and hydrant installation information and an interface diagram ( a fire mode description)
- Individual contractors are required to supply an annual condition report, to assist with annual building regulatory compliance.
- The Standard has been re-structured to remove regulatory and compliance ambiguity, and qualifying the terms critical defects, non-critical defects and non-conformances.
- Where static water systems are installed, there is a separate section of AS1851-2012 which should be implemented. While static water systems may not be a specifically listed item on an ESM schedule, they form a component of the hydrant or sprinkler systems.
- There is now a dedicated section for Emergency Planning in Facilities. Utilising this part of the standard is not mandatory as yet. Mindful there is still an obligation to have evacuation management in place in line with OH & S obligations
- Particular attention should be made to Section 1 – Scope and General Information for processes of adoption and clarification of points is clarified.
- There is an amendment to this standard due for release. The amendment redefines the requirements for passive baseline data and some other minor corrections
If you require any further advice or guidance please contact our office on 1300 237 200.