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Gravity Apartments, 91 Montague Street, South Melbourne

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Building safety standards… worth following????

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  • Building safety standards… worth following???? Building safety standards… worth following????

    Building safety standards… worth following????

Hi and welcome back…. A recent report has just delivered a reality check that is, quite honestly, pretty disgraceful. The NSW Building Professionals Board has identified that the fire protection installed in many commercial buildings are not compliant with building standards. In some buildings, it found that a deliberate decision was made to install substandard systems in order to reduce costs. This type of cost cutting and disregard for fire protection standards can and does lead to disaster and potential loss of life. There is a reason for building standards and that is to protect!!

Installing the correct fire protection solution can mean the difference between a small fire and a devastating blaze as in the case of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire.

Lets hope that we do not see, as consequence of not adhering to building standards, […]

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Number of circumstances culminated in the tragic loss of life at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home, they could have been prevented

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  • Number of circumstances culminated in the tragic loss of life at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home, they could have been prevented Number of circumstances culminated in the tragic loss of life at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home, they could have been prevented

    Number of circumstances culminated in the tragic loss of life at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home, they could have been prevented

Hi and welcome back, yesterday the report on the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire was released with 20 recommendations.

It is clear that a number of circumstances culminated in this tragic event, employment checks need to be better, of course, but if the fire safety audit at the home had been more effective it would have called out that exit ramps were too narrow for beds to be wheeled through and perhaps some lives would have been saved.

It is incumbent on all business owners to ensure that fire safety and fire suppressant systems are up to date and ensure that any fire safety audits are completed thoroughly, the buck stops with the business owner and when you hold precious lives in your hands you must ensure that you do the very best you can by those people.

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Home safety – are you zeroed in?

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  • Home safety – are you zeroed in? Home safety – are you zeroed in?

    Home safety – are you zeroed in?

Hi, welcome back to my blog, this week I am going to talk about Fire Safety, the importance of fire safety and preparedness in the home should never be underestimated

We heard about a young boy who, after being told twice to put his book down and go to sleep, covered the bedside lamp with a t-shirt so that he could continue reading undetected. Fortunately for him and his family, he was still awake when the shirt started smoulder, his father was alerted by the smell of smoke. In this case the house had its own resdinetial sprinkler system. But what if that young boy had already fallen asleep, is he any different to your children? What if the family didn’t live in a home with a modern fire protection system? What can families do, to maintain fire safety in […]

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Passive fire protection – I don’t think so!

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  • Passive fire protection – I don’t think so! Passive fire protection – I don’t think so!

    Passive fire protection – I don’t think so!

Hi and welcome to this weeks blog… Maintenance of any asset is important, we maintain our cars and our homes but owner/managers of buildings should ensure that all buildings under their care have their passive fire penetrations and compartmentation provisions maintained and inspected and that a penetration schedule is established to assist and record this maintenance, unfortunately this aspect of maintenance is far too often overlooked.

However, many building owners, facilities managers are actively looking for more information about passive fire protection management.

Building owner/managers can get confused about passive fire protection requirements so let me confirm for you what passive fire compartmentation is.

Fire compartmentation is an enclosed compartment or chamber within a building that has been specified fire rated.  By “fire rated I mean the length of time the fire can be contained within a wall […]

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The Road to overcoming common myths and misconceptions about residential sprinklers

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  • The Road to overcoming common myths and misconceptions about residential sprinklers The Road to overcoming common myths and misconceptions about residential sprinklers

    The Road to overcoming common myths and misconceptions about residential sprinklers

Hi and welcome back, I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas and New Year breaks, just continuing the theme of home fire sprinklers did you know that in a new national Harris Poll survey conducted on behalf of the non-profit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), 74% of U.S. homeowners said they would be more likely to buy a home with fire sprinklers than one without. A sprinklered house has more value and fire sprinklers provide the ultimate protection for residents.

This 2014 data demonstrates several areas of improved awareness of sprinkler life safety benefits and underscores the importance of ongoing education to overcome common myths and misconceptions about residential sprinklers.

But we are also reminded of how much awareness work there still is to do. For example, just half the homeowners recognise the increased fire hazards associated with lightweight residential construction to residents and fire-fighters, […]

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The Toxicity of Adhesives During Fire

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  • The Toxicity of Adhesives During Fire The Toxicity of Adhesives During Fire

    The Toxicity of Adhesives During Fire

Hi, hope you are all doing well…. Today’s blog is all about the adhesives and the way in which the improved formulas can help reduce the effects of toxic fumes on fire fighters….

The adhesives used in manufactured lumber have evolved and become more sophisticated since plywood was first introduced over a century ago. At that time, there were no consensus standards on the raw materials used, the performance of the adhesives used in assembly of the plywood, or the performance of the plywood when exposed to moisture or fire.

In 1947, a heat performance test was added to the then CS45 standard to evaluate adhesive bond resistance to fire and has been part of all standards revisions since. This requirement applies to all adhesive types used in manufactured lumber products and ensures that the adhesives do not lose their bond strength during fires. […]

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New Building Codes for Interconnecting Smoke Alarms

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  • New Building Codes for Interconnecting Smoke Alarms New Building Codes for Interconnecting Smoke Alarms

    New Building Codes for Interconnecting Smoke Alarms

Hi and welcome back to my blog, as many of you know by now one of my things is to ensure that not just my company but companies that we consult with are up to date with all the recent changes to Building Codes. We should by now be aware that the Building Code of Australia (BCA) 2014 now stipulate that new Class 1 buildings (a detached house or one or more attached dwellings) that require more than one smoke alarm, need to be fitted with interconnecting smoke alarms.

This change, which came into effect on 1 May 2014, seeks to improve the response rate to residential fires, so that when one smoke alarm in a building is triggered, all others installed in the same building will also be activated. This change will be particularly beneficial for two storey buildings or […]

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Fire and Electric Cabling

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  • Fire and Electric Cabling Fire and Electric Cabling

    Fire and Electric Cabling

Hi and welcome back to my blog, I recently read a very interesting article regarding the fire performance of electric cables.

Interestingly, electrical cables are frequently blamed by the media and fire authorities as the cause of building fires however, it is often not the failure of the cable which starts a fire but the misuse of the cable by frayed or damaged insulation, overloading due to incorrect or insufficient circuit protection, short circuit or over voltage. These type of situations cause high temperatures in the cable conductors or, in some cases, electrical arcing, which can heat the cable insulation and surrounding combustible materials to start a fire.

Cable manufacturers do endeavour to manufacture electric cables which under the above situations, or in cases where a fire is started by another unrelated cause, will not burn or at least will not help spread a fire […]

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Fire Safety: “Bushfire outlook for 2015”

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  • Fire Safety: “Bushfire outlook for 2015” Fire Safety: “Bushfire outlook for 2015”

    Fire Safety: “Bushfire outlook for 2015”

Hi and welcome back to my blog, I hope you have enjoyed the weekend ad the footie as much as I did. With such a great Saturday followed by a warm and windy Sunday brings to mind the potential fire dangers for the summer months. The latest bushfire outlook indicates a heightened risk of forest fires in southern Australia for 2015.

Because of the reduced rainfall over a fairly extended period of time, we are starting to see the forests drying out leading to more fuel availability … so things to burn within the forest. Forest fires are the much higher intensity fires and they also, unfortunately tend to be in the areas where a lot of our big cities are and the urban interface areas around the large cities

To be prepared, business owners and anyone working or living in bushfire prone areas must […]

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Benefits of water-mist systems

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  • Benefits of water-mist systems Benefits of water-mist systems

    Benefits of water-mist systems

Hi there and welcome back to my blog.

There are situations where a low or high-pressure water-mist system may be preferable to a conventional automatic fire suppression system, particularly where adequate water supplies are a problem, or where the fine mist provides a safer, more effective of protection than sprinklers.

Water-mist systems are used for control or suppression and use less water than traditional sprinkler systems. The discharge of water at high pressure through special nozzles creates a fine mist that can act similar to gas systems, proving effective where obstructions can prevent the water from standard sprinkler systems reaching the fire.

By definition, water mist is a water spray for which the 99% of the total volume of liquid (Dv0.99) is in droplets of diameter smaller than 1000 microns at the minimum design operating pressure of the water mist nozzle. Properly designed water mist spray systems can be effective […]

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For Safety’s Sake Go The “Extra Mile”

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  • For Safety’s Sake Go The “Extra Mile” For Safety’s Sake Go The “Extra Mile”

    For Safety’s Sake Go The “Extra Mile”

Hi there and welcome back to my blog. Australians (oh, and the Kiwis too) have a proud reputation for going the extra mile when it comes to customer expectations.

But do we think about what we can do for our staff. Below are 5 tips for businesses that want to be safer than legal fire safety requirements. Legislation provides only minimal requirements in terms of fire safety.

Going that extra mile is always better, disappointingly, in the current economic climate, companies often choose to meet only the minimum legal requirements. The 5 practical tips in this blog help companies to be even safer with a few simple steps.

Remember: prevention is better than cure!

  1. Practice, practice, practice: For most companies once a year is not enough for a fire drill. Think about risk and formulate various emergency situations, thentrain for these throughout the year. It is also important to act as […]
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Fire Safety in Restaurants

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  • Fire Safety in Restaurants Fire Safety in Restaurants

    Fire Safety in Restaurants

Hi and Welcome back, we all love to go out for breakfast, lunch and of course, dinner, Australians love dining out and enjoying the wonderful range of ethnic food available to us in this the “Lucky Country”

Regardless of size cafés, restaurants, fast food outlets, school canteens and hotel kitchens are all at risk from fire, a case in point was the Stokehouse Restaurant, fortunately staff and guest escaped with only minutes to spare . Business owners are required to not only install the correct fire protection equipment, but to also ensure it is regularly serviced and their employees trained to use it.  Damage to property is one thing, but the safety of your staff and patrons must be the top priority.

An important task for a business owner is to ensure the correct fire protection equipment is installed.  This involves identifying and understanding the […]

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Aspiration Detection

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  • Aspiration Detection Aspiration Detection

    Aspiration Detection

Hi and welcome back… I have been checking out the up coming events in our industry and FIREX is just one event happening in June in London. These events allow us to glean the latest expertise and guidance from industry thought-leaders. Reading though the list of event exhibitors I was really interested to see Honeywell showing their latest aspiration detection technologies

We all do understand that enhancing fire and life safety with the use of very early warning fire detection strengthens the protection available to us by enabling proactive response to a fire threat at early rather than late, not rocket science

But we should appreciate that fire and life safety systems have come a long way, consisting of a mix of detectors and detection mechanisms integrated to safeguard both our lives and our property. Because data, computers, inventory and telecommunications systems drive almost every […]

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Passive and Active Fire Protection – do you know the difference?

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  • Passive and Active Fire Protection – do you know the difference? Passive and Active Fire Protection – do you know the difference?

    Passive and Active Fire Protection – do you know the difference?

Hi and welcome back…… today I would like to talk about passive and active fire protection and how we as a community can ensure that we are not contributing the failure of these protective systems.

So what exactly is passive fire protection? It is a term used to describe the parts of a building or structure that provides a barrier to fire, containing and slowing the rate at which it spreads.  This is achieved by creating fire-resistant walls, floors and doors.  Passive fire protection also protects load bearing columns and other critical structures to prevent the building collapsing during fires.

By creating a fire resistant compartment between rooms and floors, passive fire protection greatly slows the spread of the fire from the room where it originated.  As a result the amount of damage that the building sustains is dramatically reduced.  In addition, the building’s occupants […]

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