What Legislation Do I Need to Comply With?
There are two Acts or pieces of legislation that govern fire protection installation and maintenance in South Australia, they are
- Development Act (1993)
- Work Health and Safety Act (2012)
Who is responsible under the Act?
The Development Act requires the building owner to install and maintain fire equipment. The list of fire equipment required to be installed is determined at the time that the building is approved to be constructed or upgraded, i.e. at the time of building consent. As a general rule older buildings are not required to be upgraded to current standards.
The Work Health and Safety Act requires the manager of the workplace to maintain a safe environment for workers and visitors. For common areas this is the building owner and for tenancies this is the business owner. This Act is based on a continuous risk assessment process which may require fire systems to be updated to current standards.
There is an obvious conflict therefore as to who has responsibility for the fire systems in a tenancy. Our recommendation is that the building owner is, and why they can delegate the implementation to the tenant they still have an overarching responsibility to ensure that it gets done. For many owners this means that they arrange to get it done then invoice the tenant as an outgoing expense.
How do I comply?
Old Acts and Regulations were very specific about what you needed to comply with. The Development Act is still like this. The Regulations refer to the Minister’s Specification SA76 which outlines a list of fire equipment and systems, when they should be installed and what the maintenance requirements are. The authority issuing the Building Approval lists these in what is called a Form 1, or essential services provisions for the building.
While the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations are based on a risk assessment framework without specifically referencing standards. Our advice to people seeking more clarification on what to comply with under this Act is to reverse your thinking. Rather than look for referenced standards consider that by complying with Australian Standards you guarantee compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act, refer to the following diagram.
Need more information?
There is no concise document on fire protection issued by the Government. To address this need our Managing Director, Alan Short wrote a book, “Ready, Set … Fire: How to get Ready, Set up and manage Fire maintenance”. To get a FREE copy of this book follow this link.
Alternatively you can contact us on 08 8262 9245