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We have changed Fire Protection companies recently, at the recommendation of the Strata Manager, at last years AGM in November. In February this company conducted an audit and then sent an 80 page docuement with over $25000.00 worth of quotes attached.
The S/C will be meeting shortly to discuss this report and subsequent quotes. Can you provide any advise or refer me to any legislation that may help us all sift through this?
I can not fathom how the building requires all this work as we did have a previous company who attended to the building.
i understand the importance of fire safety for all and I am not avoiding the purported issues but would like to be better informed. Some quotes only state that they ‘recommend’ this or that, eg: they recommend 4.5 kilo portable extinguishers in all the wings. But why if the current ones are compliant?
Can we ask for a second opinion? Is the audit treated like a quote whereby we are entitled to other quotes?
Any referencing will assist, thank you.
From reading ‘old’ Flat Chat comments on this topic, you might find the following info helpful:
Do you have a Contract with this company or were they only employed to undertake an Audit? If there is a Contract then you might need to check the contract carefully about who can carry out the required work. ‘The devil is in the detail’.
If something is ‘recommended’ it probably would not be deemed to be mandatory.
Yes, the audit is likely to recommend the “Rolls Royce” option of bringing everything up to maximum fire safety, way beyond compliance, especially if they are going to be involved in the improvements.
I would be looking for three figures based on minimum permissible compliance, compliance plus a margin for safety, and absolute top of the line optimum safety.
You might find the difference between the first and last figures quite dramatic.
Fire services companies, in general, are a real concern. Our fire services company of well over 5 years standing was recently sold to a larger company. Even though compliance certificates had been issued every year, the final act of our original fire company (before the sale went through and probably to minimize risk in the event of a due diligence exposure) was to inform our new Strata Committee that a critical fire service component of our building did not comply with the appropriate legislation.
They did this one week before the certificate was due to be sent to Council, and the subsequent ‘fix’ has been quoted at more than $100K. The current Committee suspect there was a ‘convenient’ relationship between the original fire company and the past Strata Committee. Engineers on the new Committee confirm the issue is real and that our current system does not comply, and probably never has (in a 20 year old building).
Committees have to be vigilant, ‘Rolls Royce’ solutions are one thing, but complete failure to perform the basic tasks required by law are another, and Owners need to be on the look out for collusion between vested interests to ignore major risks to the detriment of all owners.
I have no idea what the Owners Corporation legal standing is in this instance.
I have a question regarding the Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) for a 25 level building with sprinkler and hydrant systems. It appears we have a very detailed and extensive list of items on our Fire Statement (about 22 in total). Our new fire services company has questioned why certain items are on this list as they were not expecting them to be there.
I have been unable to determine who generated the list and when it was generated (in a > 20 year old building). How can I determine what items are necessary on our Statement – not just nice to have because they generate revenue for fire companies wanting to test them – but actually required by legislation?
If we start dropping things off the Statement because our new company doesn’t think they should be there I’m sure this will ring alarm bells with Council on submission.
Any help with this would be appreciated.
JC – If the new Fire Safety Service recommends that the items be dropped from your list then I wouldn’t worry too much about dropping them.
The strata scheme and the strata scheme agent are not expected to be the ‘experts’. That is what you employ the Fire Safety Service company to be!
As an owner of the building or as an agent you are only signing off on the fact that the building has been assessed by a ‘competent fire safety practitioner’ and that the ‘competent fire safety practitoner’ found everything that needed to be assessed to be capable of performing as required.
Click here for links to the various Fire Regulation Forms and some Q and As that may be helpful:
Section 7: Annual fire safety statement declaration
I, (insert full name)
being the (mark applicable box) ☐ owner
☐ owner’s agent
certify that: a) each essential fire safety measure specified in this statement has been assessed by a competent fire safety practitioner and was found, when it was assessed, to be capable of performing:
- in the case of an essential fire safety measure identified in Section 5 of this form and the fire safety schedule – to a standard no less than that specified in the schedule, or
- in the case of any other essential fire safety measure identified in Section 5 of this form – to a standard no less than that to which the measure was originally designed and implemented, and
- b) the building has been inspected by a competent fire safety practitioner and was found, when it was inspected, to be in a condition that did not disclose any grounds for a prosecution under Division 7 of the Regulation.
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