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Media Release

Maintenance the difference between life and death
Thursday 21 March 2013 – 9:00 AM
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) is asking all building managers and owners to ensure that firefighting services and equipment in their building are maintained correctly.
DFES Superintendent Paul Ryan said regular maintenance of building fire safety systems could mean the difference between life and death.

“It is very important that building fire safety systems are regularly maintained and ready for immediate use by firefighters,” Mr Ryan said. 
“Well maintained services provide firefighters with confidence that the equipment will operate effectively during a fire. 
“Although most managers and owners do the right thing there have been a number of building fires within Perth where building fire safety systems have not been regularly maintained and this places the lives of our firefighters, residents and occupants at risk.


“We have been very lucky that no serious injury or loss of life has occurred.”
Mr Ryan said facility managers and owners had a duty of care towards building occupants and warned against complacency.

“An emergency can occur at any time and the middle of an emergency is not the time to hope that all the systems operate correctly,” he said.

“An ‘it will never happen’ mindset is one of the major contributors in poor building safety preparedness.
“The maintenance of older apartment buildings are a particular concern.” 
DFES recommends firefighting services and equipment are regularly maintained by specialised and competent service providers. 
Firefighting services and equipment should be maintained in accordance with the 2012 edition of Australian Standards 1851.

Building facility managers and owners can contact the Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPAA) for fire industry maintenance professionals.


The FPAA has a list of members who are bound by a Code of Practice which relates to their professionalism, behaviour and conduct within the industry. 
SAI Global has recently released a new version of Australian Standards 1851 – 2012 Routine Service of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment. 

The standard sets out the requirements for the routine servicing (inspection, testing, preventive maintenance and survey) of fire protection systems and equipment in buildings.

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