The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) provides advice to Building Surveyors (Certifiers) and other fire safety practitioners to ensure plans for construction of new commercial and industrial buildings in Western Australia are fire safe in accordance with the fire safety sections of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Building Regulation 18B(1) states, at least 15 days before signing a Certificate of Design Compliance in respect of a Class 2-9 building, a Building Surveyor must provide to the Fire & Emergency Services (FES) Commissioner plans and specifications for the building in sufficient detail to allow assessment of compliance with the FES Commissioner’s operational requirements.
DFES Built Environment Branch (BEB) staff assists with the administration of the BCA in a number of ways:
- Ensuring fire safety requirements of commercial and industrial building plans are fulfilled before a building permit is issued
- Inspecting completed buildings to check required fire safety equipment has been installed according to the plans and;
- Testing of certain fire safety equipment used by the fire service
NB Standard residential housing is not included in the assessment process.
DFES fire safety assessments relate mostly to the requirements of professional fire-fighters in the event of a fire and these include:
- Location of fire hydrants
- Adequacy and reliability of water supplies
- Capability of fire pumps and associated equipment
- Automatic fire detection systems, such as sprinklers and smoke detection systems
- Smoke management systems such as stairwell pressurisation and smoke exhaust systems that allow fire-fighters to enter buildings during a fire
- Access for fire fighting vehicles
- Other elements impacting on search and rescue activities
DFES conducts inspections of major projects to ensure fire fighting equipment is installed as designated in the approved plans. Certain equipment is then tested for compliance with Australian Standards and to ensure it will meet the needs of the fire service.
For further information on assessment or inspection of Class 2-9 buildings please phone (08) 9395 9800.
New Building Act (Building Act 2011)
Please note that from 2nd April 2012, a new Building Act (Building Act 2011) has been introduced to WA. For information on the new Act or Regulations (as amended) please visit the Building Commission website.
If you have any queries, please contact the Building Commission on 1300 489 099 or alternatively the Built Environment Branch on 9395 9800 for matters pertaining to DFES.