What are our responsibilities around fire precautions?

All strata-titled properties including residential buildings are required to carry out a fire safety inspection of the common property. This should be carried out at least annually to identify issues relating to the fire services within the building. A thorough inspection involves ensuring evacuation routes are clear of obstructions, all fire safety installations are tested at regular intervals and a log of these tests is kept (in commercial buildings), checking that exit doors have the correct hardware, documentation is complete and available, staff are trained, a Fire and Evacuation Co-ordinator is appointed for the site and the certificate of classification is displayed on the building.

Typical safety measures in a commercial building include evacuation signage, fire and emergency evacuation plans, emergency safety plans and staff training. This can be applied to a residential building as well if the owners committee believes it’s a good idea and that it would get co-operation from the lot owners. A fire and evacuation plan lays out the roles, responsibilities and required actions for a building’s key personnel, employees and tenants. It should be simple, effective and generic in nature. The intent of the plan is to provide co-ordinated and key emergency services but it is not a be all for every emergency. Situations can arise that are often unforeseen but at least being prepared for a disaster can provide a focus and some direction should one occur.

Ref: Strata Community Aust.

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