Learn more about fire protection

Our aim is to publish interesting & relevant articles to help building owners, residents & strata managers better understand the requirements of the fire safety industry.

The fire protection industry is laden with complex legislation & requirements, so it’s no surprise that ordinary people have a hard time getting their head around it. Let us assist you.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in the articles on our website is generic in nature and may not apply to your building. Please call Civil Fire if you would like to discuss a specific aspect of your building. The articles are accurate at the date they are published .

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Fire Rated Ceilings: A resident’s guide

Can I install downlights, ducted air conditioning, ceiling exhaust fans or manholes in my unit ceiling?
Well yes… but you need to be very careful if your ceiling designed to have a “resistance to the incipient spread of fire to the roof space for a period of not less than 60 minutes”.
Fire rated ceilings are an fire safety measure, designed to slow the spread of fire from one part of the building to another.

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Passive Fire Protection

Passive Fire measures are designed to stop (or slow) the spread of fire from one part of the building to another. Most buildings have Passive Fire protection measures – even if they are not specifically listed on the AFSS.

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Emergency Lights

In an emergency situation emergency lights should run on their backup battery for at least 90-minutes. Australian Standards require that exit & emergency lights be tested every 6 months. Exit and emergency lights have a shorter lifespan when compared to non-emergency lights.

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Smoke Alarms & Landlord Obligations

Landlords have clear obligations when it comes to the installation, repair and maintenance of smoke alarms.
So who is responsible for what?
Landlords can engage Civil Fire to fulfil their obligations for $75 + GST each year.

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Safe Passage Fire Exit

Paths of Travel

Maintaining exits, and clear paths of travel to exits is critical in ensuring occupants can escape in the event of an emergency. So what are the requirements?

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Fire Sprinkler

Fire Sprinklers

Fire sprinklers are a highly effective method of fire suppression. But in order for them to operate effectively they need to have adequate clearance and coverage. We’ll explore some of the common issues we see with sprinklers in residential strata buildings.

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Soft Touch Door Closers

Fire doors must be able to self-close and self-latch after every opening, which is why it is mandatory for fire doors to have closers. Are you finding that your closer is making your fire door feel so heavy that you can barely open it? There is a solution!

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Hoarding & Fire Safety

Hoarding is a condition
where a person has persistent difficulty discarding personal possessions. It is well recognized that hoarding behaviour increases the risk of fire. So what can be done? And can the fire safety technician do anything at an annual inspection?

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Fire Indicator Panel

Preventing faults & alarms on FIP

Unwanted faults & alarms are a challenge for residents and fire protection companies alike. Ordinary activities – cooking in particular – produce airborne particles which can activate smoke detectors. There alarms are often referred to as “nuisance alarms”.

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10yo smoke alarms in NSW

Whilst Civil Fire strongly recommends that all 10 year old smoke alarms are replaced, it may not necessarily be required under the law – but that depends on which law we’re referring to.

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AFSS FAQs

An Annual Fire Safety Statement is a certificate that attests that each Essential Fire Safety Measure installed in the building been assessed by a Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety), adn was found to be capable of performing to the standard required by the most recent Fire Safety Schedule. The owner of the building is required to provide a new AFSS to Council and the Fire Brigade every 12 months and to display the current AFSS prominently at the premises.

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Fire Safety & COVID-19

The Public Health Order has been updated to provide clarity to our industry – Fire Safety services are to continue even under the tightened COVID-19 restrictions. Civil Fire have implemented a COVID-19 plan to ensure that staff and residents are safe while fire safety inspections and repairs continue.

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Smoke Alarm FAQs

We get so many questions about smoke alarms. Where should my alarm be installed? How many alarms should I have? Should they be mains-powered or battery operated? Are they mean to be interconnected?

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Hard of Hearing ear

Smoke Alarms for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired

The standard smoke alarm is suitable to wake most mild to moderately hard of hearing people. People who are deaf or have a severe hearing loss however, may have difficulty hearing conventional smoke alarms. There are specialised solutions available.

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A resident’s guide to fire doors

Your unit entry doorset is an “essential fire safety measure”. The doorset consists of the fire door leaf, door hardware, the door frame and the fixing to the surrounding fire wall. Under the legislation, your doorset is required to be inspected once a year to verify it meets the performance requirements of AS1905.1 – 2005 and the manufacturers approved specifications. So what is actually being checked?

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FRNSW fines for false alarms

The Fire and Rescue NSW ACT 1989, Sect 42 allows FRNSW to charge for attending false alarm call-outs ONLY if the callout is generated from an ASE.
FRNSW does not charge for ANY CALLS made to 000 – even if it turns out to be a false alarm.

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