The purpose of a fire safety upgrade strategy for existing buildings is to make reasonable improvements to the fire life safety of the building. At Warringtonfire Australia, qualified engineers and consultants will work together with your team to ensure complete resolution of fire orders in a timely order, while achieving a safer building with cost effective solutions.

 

What is a fire safety upgrade strategy?

Every year technical requirements for the design and construction of buildings have evolved and improved. There is potential for existing buildings to become non-compliant with current provisions. 
The purpose of a fire safety upgrade strategy for an existing building is to make reasonable improvements to fire life safety of the building.  It should be noted whilst these recommendations will improve the level of fire safety, they may not fully meet the current performance requirements of the National Construction Code Volume One – Building Code of Australia (NCC). 
Fire safety upgrade strategies will be based on the objectives of your project and will create the best solution for you. Where possible, multiple options can be provided to achieve a safer building. A fire safety upgrade strategy will involve review of an existing building based on desktop audit and/or onsite inspection of a building. 

 

 
 

Complying With The NCC

The National Construction Code (NCC) is a performance-based code that contains all Performance Requirements for the construction of buildings.

Compliance with the performance requirements of the NCC is achieved by complying with the deemed-to-satisfy (DTS) provisions, the use of performance solutions or a combination of both methods – refer to Figure 1.

 

A DTS solution is a set of solutions noted in the NCC that are deemed to meet the performance requirements.

 

A performance solution is a flexible solution that has been designed for each individual situation to meet the level of quality of the building and is deemed to meet the performance requirements on a performance basis.

How do I know if my building requires an upgrade?

Often due to changes to an existing building, the portions that are being changed or the entire building is required to be upgraded to comply with the deemed-to-satisfy (DTS) provisions of the current NCC . The requirement for a building to be upgraded, varies between states and territories, as well as with different types of buildings. 
Fire safety upgrade order issued by local council or fire authority would notify the building owner that a building is required to be upgraded. A fire safety upgrade order is issued where an authority has deemed a building could pose an unreasonable risk of injury or death to building occupant in the event of a fire.
Other than the respective building legislation, a number of other requirements or guidelines may also trigger the requirement for a building to be upgraded. This could range from building insurance provider, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, planning policies and others. 
Building owners could be proactive and decide to make voluntary fire upgrades on the building. Any upgrades will also require approval from local authority. 

 

What is a fire safety upgrade order and am I legally obliged to comply?

A fire safety upgrade order is a document that can be given to you by local council or fire authorities to direct property owners to upgrade part or all of a building to comply with fire safety requirements, even if the building could be compliant with the requirements at the time of construction.  Building owner would be legally obliged to comply with the fire order at a required completion date that is set in the order. 

However, the building owner could also appeal the order if he/she feels that the notice is completely or in part is unfair, with the authority within timeframe of respective state. But note, the success rate is not high. 

At Warringtonfire Australia, we will work with you to understand the complex requirements in a clear and concise format. The fire safety of the existing building will be benchmarked against the latest NCC requirements. 

Where fire safety objectives for the building are defined, Warringtonfire will approach the upgrade strategy with a balanced approach while meeting the fire safety objectives for an existing building. 

 

Why Warringtonfire for your upgrade strategy?

Warringtonfire has a team of accredited fire safety engineers who have been involved in preparing performance-based assessments and conducting fire safety upgrade strategies  for a range of projects over the past decade. 

At Warringtonfire Australia, qualified engineers and consultants will work together with your  team and ensure complete resolution of the fire order in a timely order while achieving a safer building with cost effective solution. Where possible, multiple options can be provided to achieve a safer building.

If you wish to receive advice on your fire upgrade strategy, please contact us today on +61 2 9211 4333 or email us