Quality Control

Quality Control

Our Fire Protection Services customers sometimes come to us with tales of woe regarding substandard work done by previous service providers. Corner cutting seems to take place when prices have been cut too low, to win the work. However you can’t actually keep supplying services where the contract price doesn’t cover your costs. Something has to give and although AS 1851 is quite clear on scheduling of routine services and frequency of inspection of each function of each type of equipment it is all too easy to fall behind.

We pride ourselves on keeping on top of things That is what you pay us for after all. But to ensure no complacency creeps in we occasionally have one of our guys do a follow up check on routine servicing, just to be sure.

Call us

Call 1300 134 971

 

Electric switchboard

Electric switchboard

Melbourne Fire and Electrical are able to carry out your regular electrical works, for minor or major changes. This includes that key element of your electrical safety, the electric switchboard itself. And of course we keep fire safety in mind.

We are always on the lookout for ways to improve the fires safety of your electrical equipment.  Some of these enhanced safety features are mandated by regulations, others may be recommended for consideration in regs or the AS codes as a way to deal with typical health and safety risks arising in built facilities. Here is an example of an electric switchboard safety feature that can be a life saver in certain fire situations

Smoke seals in Electric switchboards

Fire investigations reveal that components in the electric switchboard can themselves be the instigator of a fire which escalates to involve the building at large. Many regulations and equipment safety features are designed to prevent fire initiation in electrical equipment, but if these fail another layer of safety can slow or stop further escalation.

Switchboard cabinet door smoke seals will provide an additional protective measure, and improve the outcome of a switchboard fire. They can add time, the time needed for building occupants to exit the building before being engulfed in smoke.

260 Lt Collins

Electric switchboard cabinet with door seal

These seals are meant to deal with a switchboard fire which is smouldering or has already ignited.Typically these circumstances will leead to emission of voluminous quantities of smoke, dangerously reducing visibility and complete with deadly combustion compounds. By lining the cabinet with fire resistant material and sealing all round the cabinet door to prevent smoke escaping, precious time can allow inhabitants to be alerted and to leave the building safely.
The seals should avoid the use of materials likely to be flammable or to add to the health risk posed by the burning switchboard components.

Call us

Give us a call on 1300 134 971 to ask about improved fire performance in your electric switchboard.

 

Hydrant testing

Routine service – Fire hydrant testing

Here we are doing a hydrant test at a facility in greater Melbourne – throwing some water around !

Ask Drew where

Image 1 Hydrant partway uphill

The preparation can take a bit of time but the test itself can be done fairly quickly.  This is our second test for the day at this facility. The hydrant we tested earlier was at the lower end of the property.  For this second hydrant we’re 5 m further uphill, so about 50 kPa drop in static pressure straight away

Static pressure here is 700 kPa – which is good. BUT is there enough water to provide the required flow rate? Target flow is 300 l/min (or 5 l/sec).

The test gets underway, and within about 40 seconds the flow stabilises. Result – just over 300 l/min and a residual pressure of 600 kPa. (a.k.a. dynamic pressure).

All is good.

Flow Testing Fire Hydrant Melbourne

Call us

Call us 1300 134 971 for your routine hydrant testing, and hydrant booster tests.

 

Fire Equipment Maintenance

Fire Equipment Maintenance

From time to time office tenancies in any CBD building will undergo change. Sometimes the property manager advises us in advance of the change being implemented, though often we find out about these changes when we are conducting our routine service visits. Below is good example of fire equipment maintenance in Melbourne and an example where a significant change has been proceeding over several weeks, and the manager has worked with us to keep the fire protection equipment as current a practical, all along the way.

Create a “new” level by exploiting an underused space.

For one of our city based clients – expansion is afoot. Demand for quality office and retail space is at least keeping pace with the growing Melbourne population, and property managers are getting creative. The old basement, previously an underdeveloped storage space, is ripe for conversion to a cool basement cafe. Consequently our Fire Equipment maintenance schedule needs to be updated.

DWH

fire hydrant hydrant maintenance melbourne

DWH - basement

Image 2 – NOTE: small extinguisher in a box, next to the installed equipment. This was brought on site by the carpentry contractor.

Sprinklers have been added and now all the other services are crowding in too.

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting to see that the carpenters carry their own fire extinguisher, but we leave theirs alone when we inspect and update the fixed equipment in the building.

Upstairs our routine service visits discover a cabinet has been placed near an extinguisher making it inaccessible. Or a tenant has brought some of their own fire extinguishers – which haven’t been serviced for a few years ! A friendly chat and we agree to get the unit replaced, or advise them that there is already one quite handy to their location.

Fire hydrant for fire maintenance melbourne

fire hydrant in melbourne CBD Building

We’re also making sure the path to the fire escape is clear (having removed a large pedestal ashtray this morning, Image 3)

Fire doors

On our fire door theme? This building, occupied over 4 (soon to be 5) levels has no fire rated internal walls and thus, no fire doors.

 

 

Are your tenant’s needs changing?

We can help – call us 1300 134 971 

 

Fire Doors

Fire Doors – focus area this month

In the past week or two, we’ve been checking out new premises, and of course, continuing our routine service for existing clients and in many places fire doors seem to be a special focus this July.

Some are more beautiful than others.

Fire Doors - at 260 Lt Collins

Image 1 in a stylish entrance foyer.

Fire Doors - behind 186 Bourke

Image 2 exit to a city back lane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to look for

As per the AS1851 (*), the first things we look for in a fire door is the AS1905 (**) tag and the, hopefully, very obvious, “FIRE DOOR” signage.

Usually on the side of the door above the hinges you’ll find the manufacturer’s AS1905 tag. This is a metal tag with stamped or embossed text, no smaller than 25 x 50 mm. This clearly indicates

  •  – compliance to AS 1905,
  •  – the manufacturer, and
  •  – the year it was made.

The tag is affixed by the original manufacturer and, generally speaking, can’t be retrospectively replaced.

No AS1905 tag?

What if your door has no AS1905 tag? Rather than spend $$$’s changing fire doors, we suggested to a prospective client in one case, to have a registered surveyor check out the doors. After conducting a review and on site investigation the surveyor might agree that, whilst a door is not tagged, it is more than likely the door will fulfil its purpose in the event of a fire. A report could be generated, then be noted on all annual safety statements moving forward. You or your body corporate committee, could refer to such a statement if there is ever a query on fitness-for-purpose or compliance.
 
In the best case scenario, the surveyor might recommend installing fire seals to deal with any excessive gaps. If there are multiple doors which appear in good condition, a destructive test of one of them could be considered. A worry might be that doors manufactured before the 1990s contain asbestos. You need to be on the look out for this and don’t disturb them without engaging a qualified asbestos management contractor. 
We have no financial link to any surveyor, but we can nominate one or two we have worked with before. 

(*) AS1851 Routine Service of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment
(**) AS1905.1-2015 Components for the protection of openings in fire-resistant walls – Fire-resistant doorsets.

How can we help you?

Call us 1300 134 971 for your routine fire equipment checks. Or invite us along for a voyage of discovery in your premises and get with the program.

 

Fire Alarm Installation Melbourne

fire alarm that we maintain in melbourne

Fire alarms for business apartments and commercial buildings.

Melbourne Fire And Electrical specialise in installing business fire alarms, smoke detectors and evacuation systems in the Melbourne Metro Area.

We love installing new fire alarms in buildings. Whether you need a modification to an existing system, need a complete new system install or are building a new building we can help.

We can help in the following ways,

  1. Design and Construct; if you are doing a modification, or starting from scratch and need a system designed and certificated for a building permit, our electrical engineer can take care of this from start to finish.
  2. Construction document ; if you already have a design we are able to quote this and undertake everything from rough-in to certification and block plans.
  3. Modifications; if you are doing a tenancy fit out we can help! Simply send us a drawing and address and we head out and quote this for you.
  4. Purchase, Commission; Brands we can work with. Honeywell, Notifier, Pertronics, Ampac, Incite Fire,Flamestop and more. Give us a call to see if we can help.

What Type of Fire Alarm? 

Every week we are installing fire alarms into factories, new apartment blocks or offices. Depending on the environment and situation we can help select the type of system to be installed. For small projects you can use a simple, conventional panel, however when more complex buildings are involved an addressable system might be required. Addressable systems are superior to conventional systems as you can program the system to do what ever you require; this might include smoke detectors being less sensitive or more sensitive depending on their environment.

How We Can Help?

If you need repairs to a fire alarm, installation or modifications  give us a call today. We have staff ready to take your call, quote the job and get it finished. Simply call or email!

We have electricians ready to rough your project!

Phone: 1300 134 971

Email: Service@Melfire.com.au

Where can I find out more information on fire alarm suppliers?

Notifier Australia
www.notifier.com.au

Incite Fire
www.incitefire.com.au

Ampac Australia
www.ampac.com

fire alarm that we maintain in melbourne

 

Recent Blog from Melbourne Fire on Fire Equipment Maintenance

Melbourne Fire Equipment Maintenance

 

 

 

 

Fire equipment – more

Last week we focused on discovery visits with new clients, and fire extinguisher, hose reel, hydrant checking. . Here is a bit more.

Fire extinguisher Maintenance Melbourne

One thing to check is the pressure gauge – it’s small and simple, but gives a helpful indication that your extinguisher is ready to perform when you need it. Don’t be mistaken that it looks like a kids toy – it does the job – it leads a pretty quiet life and will generally be replaced in 5 years, as part of your mandatory fire extinguisher maintenance program.

Image 1

Image 2

Image 1 & Image 2
Here is one showing that the contents
are stored in the required “green
pressure range, with a pressure
of 1000 kPa.

.

Image 3

 

 

Image 3
And here is another which was discovered in the premises of a new client.

Here the needle is in the “red” zone,
on the left side of the gauge, indicating no pressure

 

 

 

We’d like to say we picked this up on our initial equipment discovery visit, but sadly not. The number of extinguishers we found was sufficient to meet requirements, however this “extra” extinguisher was located in a non-standard sort of a place. In fact it may have had someone’s coat hanging on it at the time. And it certainly did not have the required signage to flag its presence in a highly visible way, nor the immediately adjacent “contents” sign (see Week 25 post). Judging from the yellow tag on it, it had been overlooked for some time (since June 2005!) by previous service providers. It was found on a remediation visit soon after our initial visit and immediately removed from the premises.

What should have happened

fire extinguisher signange melbourne

fire extinguisher sign melbourne

The requirement is for extinguishers to be securely mounted at a convenient height for operator access. There should be a sign adjacent confirming the contents. There will be another sign (Image 4) to flag the presence of the extinguisher intended to be seen from across the room or building, flat to the wall or perpendicular to the wall where required,

The extinguisher itself will have a label to indicate contents, the type of fire these contents are to be used for and with instructions for its use. Each of these requirements is important and could be critical in the event of a fire. Access to all fire equipment must be unimpeded.

And of course all fire extinguishers, fire hose reel and fire hydrants should have a 6 monthly check to ensure all these requirements are still being met.

We can help

Call us 1300 134 971 for your 6 monthly fire equipment checks, or invite us along for a voyage of discovery in your premises and get with the program.

Check out our other blog at;

Fire equipment – more

 

 

 

Fire Equipment Maintenance Melbourne

Initiating your Fire Equipment Inventory

When taking a new client on board, or a new building, an important task is to confirm the Fire Equipment inventory provided by the Facility Manager. Where this list doesn’t exist, a discovery exercise is required. Some times the client looks for us to identify what they should have.
Last week we conducted such a discovery investigation. This included the deliberately very visible fire fighting equipment; in particular fire extinguishers, fire hose reels and fire hydrants. As part of the process we also effectively conducted the standard 6 monthly check of these items

Equipment checklist

So what are the first things to check?
Is there a piece of equipment present? what is its location? Is there an easy to see location sign? Is it easy to keep clear access to the item?

For a fire extinguisher – Is there an adjacent sign indicating contents? Does it match the contents of the extinguisher? Is the extinguisher (sometimes known as a ‘can’) securely mounted? What weight of contents is nominated?

Further checks for the fire extinguisher – Is the pressure gauge present , in reasonable looking condition, indicating an acceptable (green range) pressure? Is the easily-removable lock pin in position and easy to remove (check without removing)

fire extinguisher with sign melbourne

fire extinguisher with sign melbourne

fire extinguisher melbourne

fire extinguisher melbourne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other considerations

Is the yellow, metal tag attached to record AS1851 inspections? Is the inspection stamp date within the last 6 months?

Are there sufficient pieces of equipment, and of the appropriate type and capacity, to comply with AS standards, and to tackle a fire in the particular facility your looking at?
In one sad case we found the fire extinguisher locations sign, along with a fire blanket sign, in a space now used for storage and definitely devoid of either of the items indicated – they will have to be removed.

How can we help you?

Call us 1300 134 971 for your 6 monthly fire equipment checks, or invite us along for a voyage of discovery in your premises and get with the program.

See our other blog on hydrant boost testing.

Hydrant boost test

 

 

Block Plans for Fire Alarms And Hydrants

Block plans or block diagrams

Designers and engineers create drawings during the design phase for planning, review, approval and then construction of a building. Once these documents have served their prime purpose, and the occupancy permit is issued, the key drawings remain important for a number of reasons.  These reasons include

  • locating facilities and equipment for use
  • identifying and locating equipment for routine maintenance
  • serving as the basis for later modifications to the building
  • identifying the emergency equipment for occupants in an emergency
  • identifying and locating essential safety measures, (Note 1) and applying the maintenance requirements of the occupancy permit or the Maintenance Determination developed for the ongoing equipment integrity, generally using AS1851.
  • providing critical information to first responders in an emergency
  • providing information to investigators following a significant incident or emergency

NOTES

  1. Essential Safety Measures, refer Building code of Australia BCA2006
  2. Reference Australian Standard AS1851-2012 Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment
  3. AS851 states that baseline data is necessary to benchmark the performance of fire protection systems and equipment and this baseline data may include block plan information.

What is meant by Block plan information?

Block plans are generally represented as plan or layout views (i.e.as seen from overhead). For buildings of more than two or three levels an elevation (i.e. side view) will also be used. They are as complex as they need to be, for example a simple drawing identified as ” Level 2 Building evacuation plan” and a more detailed drawing for a multilevel building with it’s own basement fire water pump. These drawings are not to scale but most usefully must show relative positions and indicative proportions. These drawings may simply show schematics of equipment with a equipment represented by a block, and lines to represent a wall, fire water pipe or a communication signal, whatever may be relevant

Image 1. A complex schematic showing multiple building entrances and water supply points.

Image 2. A basement layout showing only smoke detectors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image 3. An elevation of a multi storey building with fire pump in the basement

Image 4. Fire alarm panel with an alarm connection schematic

 

Image 5 Simple evacuation diagram for a hotel – level 2

Image 6 Hydrant layouts in a 5 storey building – mostly UNREADABLE

Image 7. No block plan or and drawing at all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can we help you ?

If your block plans need updating, or are missing, we can help. Let’s see what drawings you already have. If needs be, we can visit your site to gather data and discuss with you the drawing or package of drawings that would best meet your compliance needs.

Call us on 1300 134 971