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You are currently viewing Understanding AS 2118.1 – 2017 Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems

Understanding AS 2118.1 – 2017 Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems

Introduction

The fire protection industry is an ever-evolving field, with continuous updates and improvements being made to ensure the highest level of safety for buildings and occupants. In this blog post, we will discuss the recent changes to the Australian Standard AS 2118 – Automatic Sprinkler Systems and their relevance to AS 1851, which covers the service and maintenance of fire protection equipment. By understanding these updates, industry professionals can ensure they are providing the best possible service and staying compliant with current regulations.

Automatic fire sprinkler systems are a common feature in commercial and residential buildings. They’re designed to automatically extinguish fires, preventing them from spreading and saving lives.
This document provides standards for the design, installation and maintenance of automatic fire sprinkler systems. It covers:

  • The requirements for an automatic fire sprinkler system (AFSS) that meets AS 2118.1-2017;
  • The design criteria for installing AFSSs;
  • Testing procedures for verifying compliance with AS 2118-2017;
    It also includes guidance on how to maintain your AFSSs so they continue working properly over time.

Section 1: Overview of AS 2118 – Automatic Sprinkler Systems

AS 2118 is the Australian Standard that provides guidelines and requirements for the design, installation, and commissioning of automatic fire sprinkler systems. The primary purpose of this standard is to ensure that these systems are correctly designed and installed so that they can effectively control and suppress fires in the event of an emergency.

The standard has undergone several revisions since its inception, with the most recent changes being introduced in AS 2118.1-2017. These updates were made to reflect advances in technology, as well as to address concerns raised by practitioners in the field. Some of the key changes include:

  • Updated requirements for the use of flexible sprinkler hose assemblies.
  • New provisions for the use of extended coverage sprinklers in specific applications.
  • Revised criteria for the design and installation of water supplies.

Section 2: Relevance of AS 2118 Changes to AS 1851 – Service and Maintenance of Fire Protection Equipment

AS 1851 is the Australian Standard that outlines the requirements for the routine servicing of fire protection systems and equipment. The standard aims to ensure that fire protection systems are adequately maintained so that they remain effective and reliable throughout their service life.

With the changes introduced in AS 2118, it is crucial for industry professionals to understand how these updates impact the servicing and maintenance requirements outlined in AS 1851. Key points to consider include:

  1. Updated inspection and testing procedures: With the introduction of new technologies and equipment in AS 2118, it is essential to ensure that maintenance personnel are familiar with the latest inspection and testing procedures for these systems. This may require additional training or updating of internal processes to ensure compliance with AS 1851.
  2. Compatibility of equipment: As new equipment and components are introduced, it is vital to ensure that they are compatible with existing fire protection systems. This is particularly important when undertaking maintenance or upgrades, as compatibility issues could impact the overall effectiveness of the system.
  3. Record-keeping requirements: Ensuring accurate and up-to-date records are maintained is essential for compliance with both AS 2118 and AS 1851. As changes are made to sprinkler systems, maintenance personnel should be diligent in updating system records to reflect these alterations.

What are the changes in AS 2118 and how do they impact AS 1851?

  1. One of the key changes in AS 2118 is the requirement for more frequent testing and maintenance of fire sprinklers. This includes quarterly inspections of sprinkler heads, annual testing of water flow rates, and five-yearly testing of the entire system. These changes are designed to ensure that fire sprinklers are functioning properly and can effectively suppress fires in the event of an emergency. Additionally, AS 2118 now requires more detailed documentation and reporting of fire sprinkler maintenance and testing, which can help building owners and managers stay on top of their compliance obligations. By understanding these changes and staying up-to-date with both AS 2118 and AS 1851, building owners and managers can help ensure the safety of their buildings and occupants.

Advantages

Automatic fire sprinklers are an important part of any building’s fire protection system. They provide increased safety, reduced property damage and lower insurance premiums.

  • Increased safety: Automatic sprinklers can help prevent fires from spreading by cooling hot surfaces and extinguishing small fires before they become large ones.
  • Reduced property damage: Automatic sprinklers limit the spread of fire by reducing oxygen levels in the room where it occurs, which slows down combustion rates and makes it easier for firefighters to control flames when they arrive on scene.
  • Lower insurance premiums: Since automatic sprinklers reduce damage caused by fires, buildings with these systems tend to have lower insurance premiums than those without them.

Implementation

The first step in implementing the AS 2118.1 standard is to ensure that your automatic fire sprinkler system complies with its requirements. This includes ensuring that any pipe or fitting installed in accordance with AS 2118.1 has been tested, certified and marked accordingly by an approved testing authority (NATA).
In addition to complying with these requirements, there are several best practices that can help you achieve optimal performance from your automatic fire sprinkler system:

  • Use only pipes, fittings and equipment that have been tested and certified by NATA as suitable for use in automatic fire sprinkler systems.
  • Ensure all pipes are installed with a minimum wall thickness of 10mm (0.4 inches) for steel pipe and 12mm (0.5 inches) for plastic pipe; this is especially important if you need to install new pipes through existing walls or floors because it will reduce stress on those structures while also increasing their lifespan.

Criticisms

There are a few criticisms of AS 2118.1-2017 Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems:

  • The document is not clear about what constitutes an automatic fire sprinkler system, which could lead to confusion in the marketplace.
  • The document does not address issues such as water quality and water treatment.

Fire Safety Regulations

The National Construction Code (NCC) is the national standard that governs the design and construction of buildings. It sets out requirements for building materials, fire safety, environmental performance and energy efficiency.
The Australian Standard 2600:2010 Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems is a technical standard developed by Standards Australia which provides guidance on how automatic fire sprinkler systems should be designed, installed and maintained to ensure they operate safely and effectively.
AS 2118-2017 Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems is an updated version of AS 2118:2005 Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems incorporating changes made by Standards Australia as part of their ongoing revision process.

Design

In the design phase, you must ensure that your automatic fire sprinkler system meets the requirements of AS 2118.1-2017. This includes:

  • Requirements for fabrication/installation and testing/commissioning of the automatic fire sprinkler system;
  • Design details for each type of sprinkler head; and
  • The installation requirements for fixed piping systems.

Best Practices

  • Identify potential issues early on
  • Monitor the system regularly and consistently to identify potential issues early on, before they become a problem.
  • Use the data from your monitoring system to identify trends in performance and make adjustments as needed.

Conclusion

This guide has been a great introduction to the Australian Standard 2118.1-2017 Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems. If you’re interested in learning more about fire safety and automatic fire sprinkler systems, check out our other resources.

Dedicated to your fire protection safety

Alex

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