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You are currently viewing Understanding AS 1851: The Standard for Fire Protection Equipment Maintenance

Understanding AS 1851: The Standard for Fire Protection Equipment Maintenance

Table of Contents

What is AS1851 and why is it important?

The Requirements of AS1851

What are the consequences of non-compliance with AS1851?

Fire Safety Strategies

Risk Assessments

Fire Protection Equipment

Service and Maintenance

Testing and Certification

AS 1851

What is AS 1851 and why is it important?

AS 1851 is a standard that provides guidelines for the service and maintenance of fire protection equipment. It’s important because it ensures that all parties involved in servicing equipment are working to the same standard, which helps prevent accidents and keeps your business safe.
The purpose of AS 1851 is to ensure that all parties involved in servicing fire protection systems are working to an agreed standard, so they can communicate effectively with each other and share information about their work practices.
Compliance with AS 1851 is also a legal requirement for building owners and managers in Australia. Failure to comply can result in fines and legal action, as well as putting the safety of occupants at risk.

The Requirements of AS 1851

The requirements of AS 1851 are as follows:

  • Who is responsible for compliance? The owner and the person in charge of a building or premises where fire protection equipment is installed.
  • What types of equipment must be maintained? Fire extinguishers, sprinklers and other automatic fire detection systems (AFDS).

What are the consequences of non-compliance with AS 1851?

The consequences of non-compliance with AS 1851 can be severe. Building owners and managers may face fines and legal liability if their fire protection equipment is not properly maintained according to the standard. In the event of a fire, insurance companies may also refuse to cover damages or losses if the equipment was not properly maintained. This can result in significant financial losses for the building owner or manager. Additionally, non-compliance can put occupants at risk, as improperly maintained fire protection equipment may not function properly in an emergency. It is crucial for building owners and managers to prioritise compliance with AS 1851 to ensure the safety of occupants and protect against potential legal and financial risks.

Fire Safety Strategies

Fire safety strategies are the most effective way to manage fire risk in a building. Strategies can be implemented at all levels, from the local level (for example, using sprinklers) to the national level (such as developing national standards). They can also be used as part of an overall fire management program.
The benefits of implementing these strategies include:

  • Reduced exposure to loss and damage from fire.
  • Improved protection for people, property and assets in buildings.
  • Increased ability for occupants/staff members to evacuate safely.

Risk Assessments

A risk assessment is the process of identifying, analysing and evaluating hazards in the workplace.
The steps involved in a risk assessment are:

  • Identify potential risks associated with your work activities.
  • Reduce or eliminate those risks through effective control measures (e.g., training).

Fire Protection Equipment

You must maintain fire protection equipment in compliance with AS 1851. This includes:

  • Fire alarm systems, including smoke detectors and heat detectors.
  • Sprinkler systems, including automatic sprinklers and water mist systems.
  • Fire pumps (including booster pumps) and associated controls that are used to deliver water from a public water supply to fire hydrants or other fixed appliances that require a flow rate of more than 40 litres per minute but less than 1 000 litres per minute at zero pressure loss through the appliance outlet connection point when tested at full operating pressure against an unpressurised static head equal to their maximum design working pressure plus 0-10% of this value depending on whether they are installed above ground level or below ground level respectively

AS1851 – 2012 specifies the routine service of fire protection systems and equipment.

Service and Maintenance

The Fire Protection Equipment Standards (AS 1851) require that all fire protection equipment be maintained in good working order.
The following are some tips for ensuring your equipment is in good working order:

  • Regularly check the condition of hoses and nozzles, as well as any other components that may need to be inspected or replaced.
  • Ensure that all connections are secure and free from damage or corrosion.
  • Check for signs of wear on seals and gaskets, which can lead to leaks if left unchecked over time.

Testing and Certification

Testing and certification are important steps in the maintenance process. They ensure that your fire protection equipment is working properly and ready to go when you need it most.

  • What tests must be conducted?
  • How often should tests be conducted?
    The testing requirements for AS 1851 vary depending on the type of equipment being maintained, but there are some general guidelines that apply across all types:
  • The frequency of testing depends on how often your system is used and the type of test required (i.e., visual inspection vs pressure test). For example, if you use a sprinkler system only once per year during an annual inspection, then a pressure test may not be necessary until two years later; however if this same system were used daily throughout the year with no breaks between uses then more frequent testing would likely be required.* Who is responsible for certification?

Where appropriate, the standard should be cited, and you can find more information on AS 1851 here. It’s also worth talking to your fire protection service provider about their maintenance procedures and ensuring that they follow all relevant standards, no matter who they are. These procedures will of course vary from company to company, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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