Melbourne fire protection and equipment services FAQ

Why is my fire equipment inspected regularly?

It is an Australian Standard (AS) requirement that all fire equipment is serviced at regular intervals. By servicing fire equipment, if the need arises, the equipment will be ready for immediate use.

What are Essential Safety Measures?

Essential Safety Measures may include:
• Mechanical Services including Air Handling Units
• Exit / Smoke and Fire Doors
• Emergency Lifts
• Exit Signs
• Fire Equipment
• Fire Indicator Panel or Control Equipment
• Fire Rated building Materials (installed during construction)
• Fire isolated passageways and paths of travel
• Smoke Alarms or Smoke Detection systems
• Sprinkler or fire pump systems

When the construction of a building is complete, it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that the safety features installed in Class 2 – 9 buildings are maintained on a regular basis.

The building’s Certificate of Occupancy will detail the Essential Services of the building that require regular maintenance the frequency of that maintenance and the service required.

If you’re unsure of what Essential Safety Measures are required to be maintained in your building, contact our Service Department on 1300 001 004. We can arrange a site inspection to identify what is required to be maintained, and provide a detailed quotation for ongoing maintenance of your Essential Safety Measures.

How often do my Exit and Emergency lights need to be tested?

The Exit and Emergency Lights must be tested every 6 months. All exit and emergency light fittings come with an internal battery to provide backup power supply if there is a power outage.

The test involves switching off the power circuit to the Exit and Emergency lighting system, then running the lights off their internal power source. The test lasts 90 minutes. If any of the light fittings fail the 90 minute test, we will provide a quotation to repair or replace the light fittings (see information leaflet for more information).

Should I receive a service report for each periodical fire system test?

A requirement of AS 1851-2012 is to provide a service report for all servicing or testing for the property.

We provide all our clients with a clear, informative service report displaying the asset location, whether it passes or fails and any comments or recommended repairs required.
We also provide an inspection logbook that notes every attendance by our service technicians.

Is the fire prevention system in new buildings under warranty and if so for how long?

When your building has been completed, the builder or developer will provide a warranty period for the first 12 months. This covers all fire equipment installed in the building.

After the warranty period has expired, a Fire contractor is required to maintain the new equipment to Australian Standards (AS) 1851-2012. It is the responsibility of the Owner to engage a Fire technician to maintain the fire prevention systems that have been installed.

Does a fire contractor have to carry out fire indicator panel isolations?

It is a recommendation of the Australian Standards, and the Fire Brigade that only trained personnel such as a Fire service technician carry out isolations of the Fire Indicator Panel.

Isolations can be tricky, and rely on trained fire service technicians to isolate a zone, detector or other part of the fire monitoring system. Isolating the wrong part of the system may render the fire system useless if there is a fire or emergency situation. You may also find that the building insurance will not cover for incidents such as these.

Call Melbourne Fire and Maintenance if you require an isolation to be done?

How often does my fire equipment have to be tested?

The building’s occupancy certificate determines how often fire equipment is required to be tested. Wherever possible, the most recent version of the Australian Standard (AS) 1851 is used for determining the frequency of service intervals.

Currently, (AS) 1851-2012 Amendment 1, has been adopted for use.

How often should I change my battery in my smoke alarm?

Have you ever heard the promotion when Daylight savings occurs “change your clock and change your smoke alarm battery” ? This was an initiative to remind people when daylight savings starts, to change the battery on the smoke alarm.

Smoke Alarms do save lives. Unless, the battery installed is missing, or out of date. If there is a 240 volt or 9 volt smoke alarm installed then the battery must be replaced every 12 months.

What is required to service a fire alarm properly?

Smoke alarms work best if they are serviced. We remove or detach the smoke alarm from its base, wipe down the entire alarm with cleaning wipes, then install a new battery. The alarm is then re-attached to its mounting base, then tested with test smoke to ensure it’s ready for use. Should the alarm fail the smoke test, we will supply a quotation for replacement.

I have a gas heater – should I have a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector?

We recommend that any gas heaters installed in apartments have a Carbon Monoxide detector. Carbon Monoxide can be described as a silent killer, as it is an odourless and tasteless gas and difficult to detect without the installation of a detector.

A slight leak from a gas appliance can creep into the atmosphere without anyone knowing. The detector determines when there is the presence of CO gas in the atmosphere, alerting the occupier before it’s too late.

MFM can supply and install CO detectors. Contact our Service Department for further information.

How often should my fire hydrants be tested?

Like Fire Extinguishers, Fire Hydrants are required to be tested every 6 months. The hydrant is water flow tested annually to ensure it meets the required standards when the building was certified.

The Hydrant system is pressure tested every 5 years to ensure there are no leaks within the system.

A hose reel in my building is leaking – What should I do?

If there is a hose reel leaking, contact our service department on 1300 001 004. We will send a technician to investigate the issue. If we can not fix the Hose Reel while on site, we can provide a quotation to repair or replace it.

How can I tell if a fire extinguisher needs recharging?

At the top of the fire extinguisher there is a gauge that shows if the fire extinguisher is charged (in the green) or requires re-charging (red). If the needle points in the red, the Fire Extinguisher is in need of recharging.

If you’re not sure, please contact our service department on 1300 001 004. We can send a Technician out to your premises to inspect and service your fire extinguishers.

Should I have a fire blanket and extinguisher in my kitchen?

All commercial kitchens such as those in Restaurants and café’s require at least a 1.2m x 1.8m Australian Standards (AS) approved Fire Blanket to be installed on the wall adjacent to the cooktop. We recommend that any kitchens in tenancies or business kitchenette’s have a fire blanket at the ready when using a cooktop.

Stove fires are quite common in residential kitchens. Stove fires are never extinguished with water, as the water will only make the fire bigger, possibly leading to severe burns. A fire blanket placed over a burning stove will smother the fire, preventing the fire from spreading.

For small residential kitchens, a 1m x 1m fire blanket is recommended.

Melbourne Fire and Maintenance sell a range of fire blankets. Contact our Service Department on 1300 001 004 for further information.

Am I required to have an evacuation plan in my building?

It is the responsibility of the Employer that employees are safe in their workplace. Not only employees, but contractors, visitors and customers are expected to feel safe when attending your place of business. In an emergency situation, the need to safely evacuate people relies solely on the Employer to provide a safe evacuation from the building to a designated area.

To provide a safe evacuation, an Evacuation plan is installed throughout the building. Most buildings have an Evacuation Plan installed at an emergency exit door.

What is a block plan and where should it be located – what should I do if I don’t have one?

A block plan displays the locations of the fixed fire equipment installation of the building. There are typically two types of Block Plan installed. A Sprinkler Block Plan, and a Hydrant System Block Plan.

Sprinkler Block Plan

It is a requirement of Australian Standards (AS) 2118 that a block plan be installed at the sprinkler control and test valve assembly. The Sprinkler Block Plan displays the location of the sprinkler isolation and test valves, and any other information required in an emergency situation.

The Hydrant block plan

It is the requirement of Australian Standards 2419 that a block plan be installed at the main booster connection at the front of the building. The block plan identifies all hydrants, including the booster system, on site and any isolation valves installed.

If you require a block plan, contact our Service Department on 1300001 004 for further information.

What do I do if I believe the fire prevention services in my building are incorrect?

If you’re unsure if all the Essential Safety Measures are being maintained, contact our Service Department on 1300 001 004 for an inspection. We can tailor a service package to meet your needs.

Can the fire contractor maintain the mechanical ventilation system?

Mechanical Ventilation Systems are a specialist area that requires highly trained personnel to inspect and maintain these systems to Australian Standards. Fire Services Contractors typically work hand and hand with Mechanical Ventilation service providers to ensure all the safety aspects of the Ventilation and Mechanical Services work in the correct manner where these systems communicate with the Fire Alarm System.

I have an alarm sounding on my Fire Indicator Panel – What should I do?

Never touch the Fire Indicator Panel unless instructed to do so by a qualified Fire Service Technician or the Fire Brigade. Contact the Service Department Immediately on 1300 001 004. We are available 24hours a day.

Where are the service log books kept for my site/building?

All service logbooks should be kept in a designated area in an Essential Services Logbook Cabinet. We recommend that an Essential Services Logbook Cabinet be installed at the main entry of the building.

Is the Fire Service Company responsible for any of the phone lines?

If a phone line is installed to provide communication to the Fire Brigade Monitoring Device from the Fire Indicator Panel, or to provide emergency communications in a lift, it’s the building owner’s responsibility to maintain the phone line connection from the Building Entry Point, or the Main Distribution Frame (MDF).

Recently, there has been a requirement to upgrade the existing copper phone line connection to the NBN. It is solely the Building Owner’s responsibility, not the Fire Contractor to ensure the changeover is completed

Is the Fire Technician required to provide identification?

Yes – It is a requirement of all Fire Service Technicians to display their identification while on a property completing testing or maintenance tasks.

Whom do I call if I have an after-hours emergency?

If there is an after hours emergency that requires the services of a Fire Services Technician, we can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1300 001 004.

If there is a fire or emergency situation that requires the attendance of the Fire Brigade, Ambulance or Police, please ensure you phone 000.

Who do I call if I have any other queries?

If you require any further assistance please call The Melbourne Fire and Maintenance Service Department on 1300 001 004 24/7