AS1851 Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment

The Australian Standard AS1851-2005 contains requirements as a means of satisfying various state regulations including Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) regulations and the relevant building control and/or fire service provisions for maintenance of fire safety measures.

The standard may also form the basis for performance-based solutions for the standard of performance of fire safety measures. The combination of inspection, test, preventive maintenance and survey may form part of the design requirements for an alternative solution that complies with the performance requirements of the Building Code of Australia.

Objective of AS1851

The objective of AS1851 is to maximize the reliability of fire protection systems and equipment such that the systems and equipment meet the requirements of the relevant design, installation and commissioning Standards and are likely to continue to do so until the next scheduled activity.

This Standard is also intended to provide a systematic and uniform basis for building owners and managers, regulators, contractors, insurers and others to implement and administer inspection, test, preventive maintenance and survey programs applicable to fire protection systems and equipment.

History of AS1851

Previously, there existed a suite of 16 individual Australian Standards, all of which have been compiled into a single revised, amalgamated and re-designated standard.

The revised Standard AS1851:2005 including Amendment 1 replaces these previous individual standards as detailed in Table 1.

Table 1

Superseded AS 1851 Parts AS 1851?2005
Standard No. Date published Short title Group Section
AS 1851.1 1995 Extinguishers and blankets First aid 15 and 16
AS 1851.2 1995 Hose reels First aid 14
AS 1851.3 1997 Sprinklers Water-based 2
AS 1851.4 1992 Hydrants Water-based 4
AS 1851.5 1981 Smoke/heat venting HVAC 18
AS 1851.6 1997 Fire and smoke management HVAC 18
AS 1851.7 1984 Fire doorsets Passive 17
AS 1851.8 1987 Detection alarms warning Detection 6
AS 1851.9 1997 Lay flat hose Water-based 5
AS 1851.10 1989 EWIS Detection 9 and 10
AS 1851.11 1991 Halon 1301 Special hazards Obsolete
AS 1851.12 1995 Gaseous Special hazards 11
AS/NZS 1851.13 1995 Wheeled extinguishers First aid 15
AS 1851.14 1996 Pumpsets Water-based 3
AS 1851.15 1997 Local alarms Detection 7
AS/NZS 1851.16 1997 Pyrogen aerosols Special Hazard 12
- - Fire monitoring systems (new) Detection 8
- - Smoke alarms (new) Detection 7
- - Water mist (new) Special Hazard 13
- - Evacuation (new) EVAC 19

Standards Development

The Australian Standard AS1851 has been developed collaboratively through a committee called ''FP-001 - Maintenance of Fire Protection Equipment'' that is chaired by an independent chairperson. The committee represents building owners, fire authorities, government, insurance industry, unions and various industry associations.

There also exists a series of working-groups that work on sections of the overall standard. These working-groups discuss, deliberate and debate the intention, content and wording of each section.

Maintenance Process

AS1851 provides for a four-stage approach comprising an ''inspection, test, preventive maintenance and survey'', coupled with records to be kept and reports to be made and culminating in the issue of a final condition report.

Stage 1

Stage 1 is a set of requirements included in the systems and equipment sections (Sections 2 to 19) which appear in schedules, referenced by clauses in this Standard. The preventive maintenance activities do not have pass/fail criteria because these activities are not required to satisfy an action.

Stage 2

Stage 2 covers the records that are required to be kept for each functional activity and the information to be recorded.

Stage 3

Stage 3 covers reporting and rectification. Where failures have been identified, they shall be reported to the owner or agent for rectification. Where the system or equipment is operational, an activity report shall be issued. This report may contain outstanding rectification work to be addressed, which will appear at the commencement of the next scheduled maintenance routine unless rectification has occurred.

Stage 4

Stage 4 is the result of all activities having been completed; the annual condition report can then be issued. The condition report may also contain acknowledgment of missed tests or outstanding rectification work and if, as a result of this, the fire protection system is no longer operational, then a failed condition report will result.

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