Proactive Steps to Building Fire Safety
The recent fire at Grenfell Tower, a 24-storey residential council building in West London, has raised concerns over building fire safety on an international level.
In response to the incident, multiple claims and statements have been released in the media, regarding the integrity of the building’s external cladding materials and whether adequate fire safety measures were maintained on-site.
In Australia, comparisons have also been made between this incident and the Melbourne Lacrosse Tower Fire in 2014.
With official investigations into the London incident still underway, it is yet too early to confirm or discount the content of these initial media reports. We are therefore not in a position to officially comment or make comparisons at this stage.
We are, however, aware that these incidents have raised a considerable concern with many tenants of commercial and residential buildings across Australia, seeking assurance that their buildings are safe environments, with adequate fire safety measures in place.
In response to such concerns, an increasing number of property managers and owners are taking proactive steps to protect the safety and wellbeing of their tenants, staff and visitors.
This not only includes undertaking inspections of the structural integrity of a building – ensuring that the building is fully compliant to the Building Code of Australia (BCA) / National Construction Code (NCC) – but also assessments of the emergency response preparedness measures for the facility.
Such assessments include comprehensive inspections such as Fire Safety Audits and Gap Analyses of the building.
A Fire Safety Audit is a review of the site-specific fire safety features against the required criteria of current regulations and standards. If you own, operate or manage a building – whatever it’s size – you have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of any person in that building in the event of a fire emergency. Fire Safety Audits highlight potential fire risks in facilities and help determine the best fire protection solution.
A Gap Analysis is a review of the current fire evacuation management and practices of a site compared with the relevant Australian Standards and Codes of Practice. Fire safety doesn’t stop once building construction is complete; it is an ongoing responsibility for property managers and owners to make sure the building remains 100% compliant.
As a valued First 5 Minutes client, we want you to know that our team of specialists is available to address any fire safety concerns you may have and provide advice as required.
For more information on fire safety and response preparedness, contact the First 5 Minutes Team.