Building Regulations r1205 - AS1851:2012 Adoption in Victoria

On April 26, 2016, the Minister for Planning, in Victoria introduced a new Regulation 1205A of the Building Regulations (Vic) 2006 to permit the adoption and application of AS1851:2012 without first amending an occupancy permit or maintenance determination.

The new regulation came about through a lot of work by the team at Firewize and the Fire Protection Association.

Under new regulation 1205A of the Building Regulations 2006, an owner of a building or place of public entertainment may comply with AS1851:2012 ("the Standard") instead of an earlier edition of AS1851 if a condition on an occupancy permit or maintenance determination specifies that an essential safety measure must be maintained in accordance with;

  1. AS1851:2005 - Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment; or
  2. a standard published before 5 September 2005 that is equivalent to AS1851:2005

Owners who comply with AS1851:2012 instead of an earlier edition of AS1851 must;

  1. continue to comply with AS1851:2012;
  2. and include the following statement in the annual report prepared under building regulation 1208 -

    “The owner, in accordance with regulation 1205A of the Building Regulations 2006, is complying with AS 1851—2012 in relation to essential safety measures that must be maintained in accordance with AS 1851—2005 Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment as issued from time to time or an equivalent standard published before 5 September 2005, instead of the frequency and type of maintenance required for those essential safety measures specified in the relevant occupancy permit or maintenance determination.”

These changes to the Building Regulations 2006 are very welcome by the industry and will help building owners, agents of owners and fire protection maintenance contractors alike. The benefits from adopting AS1851:2012 far outway the inertia of staying with a previous edition of the Standard. Some of these benefits include;

standardised maintenance requirements across a portfolio of buildings;
improvements to the

In some cases (not all), the application of AS1851:2012 may also lead to a reduction in costs to carry out routine servicing such as the move from weekly testing to monthly testing of fire sprinkler systems. For more information about these benefits, contact Firewize on 1300 30 88 22, or send us a message, and we will contact you promptly.

For your reference,we have included an extract (below) of the new regulation.

Building Regulation 1205A

BUILDING REGULATIONS 2006 - REG 1205A
Compliance with AS 1851—2012 taken to be compliance with earlier standards
  1. This regulation applies in relation to a condition on an occupancy permit, or a maintenance determination, which specifies the frequency and type of maintenance required for an essential safety measure pertaining to a building or place of public entertainment.
  2. Despite sections 40 and 51 of the Act, and regulation 1205, if the condition on the occupancy permit or the maintenance determination specifies that the essential safety measure must be maintained in accordance with AS 1851—2005 Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment, as issued from time to time, or an equivalent standard published before 5 September 2005, compliance with AS 1851—2012 is taken to be compliance with the frequency and maintenance requirements specified in the condition or maintenance determination (as the case requires).
  3. If the owner of the building or place of public entertainment, in accordance with subregulation (2), complies with AS 1851—2012 in relation to the essential safety measure, instead of the frequency and type of maintenance required for the essential safety measure specified in the occupancy permit or the maintenance determination, the owner must continue to comply with AS 1851—2012 in relation to the essential safety measure.

Since we started migrating our customers previous editions of the Standard to AS1851:2012 we have been asked a number of questions which we think deserve answering online;

Frequently Asked Questions

If I have a fire sprinkler system that is tested WEEKLY and AS1851:2012 only has MONTHLY, what should I do?
This is the most common question we get asked, and AS1851:2012 provides an answer to this question in the following clauses;

Clause 1.11.1 - Frequency and Tolerances of Routine Service Intervals
"A more rigorous routine service program may be recommended by insurers or authorities having jurisdiction to conduct additional visual inspections and specific tests that may be carried out by either the responsible entity or the service provider."

Table 1.11(A) - Routine Service Frequencies for each Section
NOTE: The responsible entity may elect to conduct monthly activities on a weekly frequency.

Clause 1.13 - Adverse Operating Environments
A more rigorous routine service program may involve supplementary inspections or greater frequency of routine service. For example, the responsible entity may elect to conduct weekly inspections and require the service provider to conduct six-monthly service activities on a monthly basis.

We draw from these clauses, that the application of AS1851:2012 may be used however WEEKLY inspections may continue to be relevant, and the Relevant Building Surveyor should be engaged to amend the Occupancy Permit of Maintenance Determination accordingly. Until this is completed, WEEKLY activities should continue and carried out in accordance with Australian Standard AS1851:2012.

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