Maintenance & inspections

Why is my fire equipment inspected regularly?

We service your fire equipment regularly to ensure it will perform properly and you continue to meet this important Australian Standard (AS) requirement.

What is required to service a fire alarm properly?

Smoke alarms are only guaranteed to work if they are serviced in accordance with the Australian Standard. This involves cleaning the smoke alarm (6-monthly) and replacing the battery (annually).

We remove or detach the smoke alarm from its base, wipe down the entire alarm with cleaning wipes, then install a new battery. The alarm is then re-attached to its mounting base and tested with smoke to ensure it’s ready for use. Should the alarm fail the smoke test, we will supply a quote for its replacement.

Do you service apartment smoke alarms?

Unfortunately, we do not service individual apartment smoke alarms, but we can service common areas. Please contact our Service Department on 1300 001 004 for further information.

Building management

Am I required to have an evacuation plan in my building?

It is the responsibility of Employers to ensure staff are safe in their workplace. This extends to contractors, visitors and customers attending the place of business. In an emergency, the need to safely evacuate people relies solely on the Employer to provide a safe evacuation from the building to a designated area. An Evacuation Plan should be visible throughout the building, most commonly, in the path of travel towards an emergency exit door.

What is a Block Plan, and where should it be located?

A Block Plan displays the locations of the fixed fire equipment within a building. There are typically two types of Block Plans - a Sprinkler Block Plan and a Hydrant System Block Plan.

Sprinkler Block Plan

Australian Standards (AS) 2118 require that a Block Plan be installed at the sprinkler control and test valve assembly. The Sprinkler Block Plan displays the location of the sprinkler isolation and test valves and any other information required in an emergency.

The Hydrant block plan

Australian Standards 2419 require that a Block Plan be installed at the main booster connection at the front of the building. The Block Plan identifies all hydrants, including the booster system, onsite and any isolation valves installed.

If you require a Block Plan, contact our Service Department on 1300 001 004 for further information.

What do I do if I believe the fire prevention services in my building are incorrect?

If you’re unsure if all the Essential Safety Measures are being maintained, contact our Service Department on 1300 001 004 for an inspection. We can tailor a service package to meet your needs.

Where are the Essential Services Logbooks kept at my site/building?

All service logbooks should be kept in a designated Essential Services Logbook Cabinet at each testing area. For example, the sprinkler logbook should be kept with the sprinkler system.

Is the fire service company responsible for any of the phone lines?

If a phone line is installed to provide communication to the Fire Brigade Monitoring Device from the Fire Indicator Panel or to provide emergency communications in a lift, it's the building owner's responsibility to maintain the connection from the Building Entry Point or the Main Distribution Frame (MDF).

Recently, there has been a requirement to upgrade the existing copper phone line connection to the NBN. It is solely the building owner's responsibility, not the Fire Contractor's to ensure the changeover is complete.

Testing & reporting

Should I receive a service report for each periodical fire system test?

You will receive a service report for all servicing or testing for your property – it is a requirement of (AS) 1851-2012.

Our clear, informative service report includes details about the asset location, whether it passes or fails and any comments or repair recommendations. We also provide an inspection logbook that notes every attendance by our service technicians.

How often does my fire equipment have to be tested?

Your building’s occupancy certificate states how often fire equipment testing is required. Wherever possible, the most recent version of the Australian Standard (AS) 1851 is used for determining the frequency of service intervals. Currently, (AS) 1851-2012 Amendment 1, has been adopted for use.

Technicians & contractors

Is the fire technician required to provide identification?

Yes, technicians are required to display their identification while on a property for testing or maintenance.

Can a fire contractor maintain the Mechanical Ventilation System?

Mechanical Ventilation Systems are a specialist area that requires highly trained personnel to inspect and maintain these systems to Australian Standards. Fire Services Contractors typically work hand-in-hand with Mechanical Ventilation Service Providers to ensure all the safety aspects of the work are correct and properly communicating with the fire alarm system.

Does a fire contractor have to carry out Fire Indicator Panel (FIP) isolations?

It is a recommendation of the Australian Standards and the Fire Brigade that only trained personnel such as a technician carry out isolations of the Fire Indicator Panel.

Trained technicians are best equipped to isolate a zone, detector or other parts of the fire monitoring system. Isolating the wrong part of the system may render the fire system useless if there is a fire or emergency situation. You may also find that the building insurance will not cover such incidents.

Essential safety measures

What are Essential Safety Measures (ESM)?

Essential Safety Measures may include:

• Mechanical services (including air handling units)

• Exit, smoke and fire doors

• Emergency lifts

• Exit signs

• Fire equipment

• Fire Indicator Panel or control equipment

• Fire-rated building materials (installed during construction)

• Fire isolated passageways and paths of travel

• Smoke alarms or smoke detection systems

• Sprinkler and hydrant systems including pumps/boosters

Do I need to maintain my building’s Essential Safety Measures (ESM)?

When the construction of a Class 2-9 building is complete, owners are responsible for ensuring that its safety features are maintained regularly. The building’s Certificate of Occupancy outlines which ESMs require maintenance, including the frequency and detail of servicing.

If you’re unsure of what ESMs require maintenance in your building, contact Alexon to arrange a site inspection and quote.

Equipment & warranty

How often do my exit and emergency lights need testing?

Your exit and emergency lights must be tested every 6-months. The test takes 90-minutes and if any light fittings fail it, we will quote you for their replacement.

What do you replace my failed light fittings with?

We replace failed light fittings with new LED fittings - these are significantly cheaper to run, do not require globe replacements, and come with a 12-month warranty.

Can you replace batteries on existing light fittings?

Unfortunately, we can’t conduct battery replacements on existing light fittings as this doesn’t ensure rectification of the defect. Because of this, we can’t provide a warranty.

Is the fire prevention system in new buildings under warranty and if so, for how long?

When building is complete, the builder or developer will provide a warranty period for the first 12-months. This covers all fire equipment services installed in the building.

After the warranty period, a technician is required to maintain the new equipment to Australian Standards (AS) 1851-2012. It is the responsibility of the building owner to engage a technician for this purpose.

What’s the difference between a smoke alarm and a smoke detector?

We define a smoke alarm as being a domestic 240v or 9v battery-operated alarm, and a smoke detector as anything connected to an integrated fire system.

How often should I change my battery in my smoke alarm?

Have you ever heard the promotion when Daylight Savings starts “change your clock and change your smoke alarm battery”? This was an initiative to remind people to change the battery on their smoke alarm every year.

If your building has a 240- or 9-volt smoke alarm installed, then the battery must be replaced every 12-months.

I have a gas heater – should I have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector?

Where gas heaters are installed in apartments, we recommend also installing a Carbon Monoxide detector. Carbon Monoxide can be described as a silent killer – it’s an odourless and tasteless gas that is difficult to notice without the right detector.

A slight leak from a gas appliance can creep into the atmosphere without anyone knowing. The CO detector picks up on the presence of CO gas in the atmosphere, alerting the occupier before it’s too late. Our team can supply and install CO detectors for you.

How often should I test my fire hydrants?

Like fire extinguishers, fire hydrants need to be tested every 6-months. Water flow is tested annually to ensure it meets the required standards, and the hydrant system is pressure tested every 5-years to check for leaks.

A hose reel in my building is leaking – what should I do?

If you notice a hose reel leak, contact our Service Department on 1300 001 004 and we’ll send a technician to investigate the issue. If we cannot fix the hose reel while onsite, we’ll supply a quote to repair or replace it.

How can I tell if a fire extinguisher needs recharging?

At the top of the fire extinguisher, there is a gauge that shows if the fire extinguisher is charged (green) or requires re-charging (red). If the needle points to the red, the fire extinguisher needs recharging.

If you’re not sure, please contact our Service Department on 1300 001 004, and we’ll send a technician out to inspect and service your fire extinguishers.

Should I have a fire blanket and extinguisher in my kitchen?

All commercial kitchens (like restaurants and cafés) require at least a 1.2m x 1.8m Australian Standards (AS) approved fire blanket to be installed on the wall adjacent to the cooktop. We recommend that any kitchens in tenancies or business kitchenettes have a fire blanket at-the-ready when using a cooktop.

Stove fires are quite common in residential kitchens and should never be extinguished with water, as it will only make the fire bigger. A fire blanket placed over a burning stove will smother the fire and prevent it from spreading. For small residential kitchens, we recommend a 1m x 1m fire blanket. Contact our Service Department on 1300 001 004 for more information or to purchase a fire blanket.

Emergencies

I have an alarm sounding on my fire indicator panel – what should I do?

Never touch the Fire Indicator Panel unless instructed to do so by a qualified technician or the Fire Brigade. Contact our Service Department immediately on 1300 001 004. We are here for you 24-hours a day.

Who do I call if I have an after-hours emergency?

If you have an after-hours emergency that requires a technician, you can contact us 24/7 on 1300 001 004. If a fire or emergency situation requires the attendance of the Fire Brigade, Ambulance or Police, please phone 000 immediately.

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