The AS 1851 is a set of rules and regulations that were set up in Australia in 1851. Their main aim was to ensure that the owners of buildings were compliant in meeting the safety standards that were imposed on the fire protection services for businesses. The rules and regulations were to help ensure that all occupation state health and safety rules were met so that building owners would be certain that they are in compliance with all the laws applicable.The AS 1851 regulations are mainly to establish standards for all contractors, inspectors, business owners, and regulators when they are conducting tests, surveys, and maintenance operations on fire protection systems.

Fire protection services compliance and building owners

Building owners are therefore protected and have the assurance that all fire safety equipment meets all the state standards for installations and design systems. It demands yearly surveys and tests to guarantee that the equipment is properly checked and that they perform as they should.

No one plans to have a fire occur at their business premises. It is an unplanned event that you should always be prepared to save lives. You, therefore, need these surveys to guarantee that you are adequately prepared and ready to face any issues that happen. Here are some of the fire safety tips every business needs to use to ensure their offices are up to standard.

Make sure the fire suspension equipment is working

The first thing you need to do when you are using fire systems is to check the alarms. These need to work because they will alert the entire building of any fire. The inspectors, once they are in your building, will be checking whether these alarms have been serviced.

The fire safety rules and regulations are not just concerned by the amount and type of fire safety equipment. They are also concerned about how this equipment is replaced and maintained. You need to comply with the standards lest you face a penalty of law.


Fire fighting equipment

In addition, it is also a great idea to ensure that fire extinguishers are put in areas where they are easily accessible. These extinguishers should also be serviced once each year. It is unfortunate to find that some building owners will put up extinguishers when they are opening the building and expect them to last for the entire life of the building. Based on the type of business and the type of products you sell, you will vary the number of fire extinguishers. For instance, businesses dealing in petroleum products need more fire extinguishers than insurance companies. The same is true hotels because they deal with a fire.

To add on this, your business needs to have a wide range of fire protection (services) equipment like hose reels, fire doors, smoke alarms, smoke and gas vents, sprinklers, and monitoring systems. All these equipment will be inspected to ensure they comply with the AS1851 regulations. Hopefully, there will never be a time when you will need to use all these items, but prevention is always better than cure.


Communication with firefighters

During inspections, you may be asked to provide proof that your business has communication with the fire brigade. You should be able to provide proof of these interactions. One also needs to show how accessible your area is to firefighters in any direction. You must also show how you will be communicating with them as they come closer to your building. Additionally, if the building has any fire hydrants, they should not be obstructed. These need to have at least three feet of clearance on either side. You alarms need to be reviewed once every 30 days.

Who is responsible for fire safety for businesses?

Under the Australian occupational health and safety laws, the management of companies and business is responsible for making all the safety and health-related decisions for the business. Their aim should be to ensure any risks are minimized. When there is a fire, there needs to be a person on site who knows where the fire safety equipment is, how it is operated and what gear is appropriate for the different types of fires.


The management should also ensure that employee training goes beyond the business tasks to be performed. They should also be taught to cooperate with workplace fire management procedures and policies. This may sometimes include safety induction at the time when the job starts and when they enter the workplace. They will need to be taught where the fire safety equipment is, how to use it, and how to react in case of a fire. Employees have the responsibilities to ensure they take the safety lessons just as seriously as they take the job. At the end of the day, employees are always at the office even when the management is not.

Happy employees make the business successful. The simplest way to get the employees happy is to have an employer who cares about them. Making sure everyone is safe in case of an emergency is an incentive that will pay off, eventually. The AS1851 is strictly enforced to ensure employers offer the safest workplace possible. It also increases the value of certain buildings.

How to prepare for a fire safety inspection

The first thing you must realize is that this is not the time to panic. But it does not mean that you should relax and wait for the inspector to figure out you are inadequately prepared to face a fire hazard. Start by registering with licensed service companies. They will help prepare your organization for the safety inspection.
The documents you get from the servicing companies will be what the inspectors came to see. The company should be licensed by the government to work in the servicing docket.


Fire tragedies are experiences that you will never be fully prepared to face. Planning and using fire protection services in the preparedness phase may help protect life and property.  Furthermore, when you have followed all the safety standards, and you pass the inspections, you have another chance to operate your business smoothly. It is also better to be prepared than to face fire without any of the necessary equipment. When you and your employees know what to do, you prevent the loss of life and property.

By Ken Walker

Hi, I'm Ken. I am the owner and senior director of Syncretic training Group Pty Ltd. If you have any questions about the website content or require guidance please let us know we are always happy to help.

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