With the help of good communication, building owners and managers can avoid many common fire safety accidents and hazards – not to mention your wasted time and effort. This ensures the tenant fire safety, but it can also save you trouble and cost.

So what information should you communicate with your tenants when it comes to building fire safety? We’ve put together a list of the top things you need to share with your building occupants.

  • Annual inspection

    All buildings that have a Fire Safety Schedule must have an inspection as part of the process for completing your building’s Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS). This is often a thorough inspection that involves your tenants. That’s why you should inform them as early as possible.

    Your fire safety provider will notify you months ahead of when your annual inspection is due. It’s best to inform tenants as soon as you receive your inspection times. This is because inspections involves checking fire systems located inside their units (fire door, smoke alarms, fire dampers etc.). It’s a crucial step as missing an inspection can slow down the completion of your AFSS. And (depending on the arrangements you have with tenants under your by-laws) separate re-inspections incur a callout fee that the tenant must pay.

    As these inspections usually occur during weekdays and within working hours, it may be a good idea to ask your fire safety provider if they have options for tenants to book inspection appointments outside these times. For example, Global Fire allows our clients to book inspections early in the morning if they are unavailable during the scheduled inspection times.

  • Fire system maintenance

    Tenants tampering with any fire safety system equipment inside their units is a major no-no. So as the building manager, you need to provide them with information on what to do if there is an obvious issue or fault with fire safety equipment. Who should they contact? How should they get in touch? Include all relevant details they need to help you maintain your fire safety system in good working order.

    Don’t forget to provide instructions for emergencies or incidents that occur outside of working hours.

    There are also times when your fire system needs routine testing and maintenance. Some of these processes can either be loud, emit smoke or affect water pressure in the premises. If you don’t inform your tenants about the schedule and possible disruption, it may result in unnecessary complaints. Don’t want to interrupt your tenants? Talk to your fire safety provider about scheduling maintenance at a time that works best for your building occupants.

  • Fire drill and evacuation plan

    An evacuation plan outlines what your building occupants should do in an emergency. It should outline how to safely exit and indicate details such as the route to your emergency assembly point.

    It’s worth noting that Work Health and Safety (WHS) procedures require all workplaces to have an emergency plan in place. This includes an emergency evacuation plan. Plus, during an emergency, you can’t avoid panic. So it’s essential to inform your building occupants what to do in advance.

    Larger building may require more detailed fire emergency plans. Fire and Rescue NSW has some helpful information on creating tactical plans.

    An excellent way to keep tenants informed on your evacuation procedures is to post them in common areas such as stairwells and hallways in residential properties. Make sure the information is visible and easy to understand.

  • False alarms

    False alarms are annoying things. Not only do they cause unnecessary worry and inconvenience (especially if there’s a need to evacuate), but they can also be expensive.

    In NSW, the charge for a false alarm callout for buildings monitored with Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA) systems is $1,600. On top of that, you’ll also need to pay your fire safety provider to reset your fire system after a false alarm. So they’re best avoided at all costs.

    Some of the minor things can cause these false alarms. That means they can be easy to avoid. For example, you can clearly communicate information about smoking areas, use of kitchen appliances and proper use of smoke alarms with tenants to prevent most false alarms.  Make it clear with tenants where no-smoking areas in the building are as smoking might set off fire alarms.

    If you are experiencing recurring false alarms, consult your fire safety provider for possible solutions such as switching from smoke to heat alarms.

Communication is the key to ensuring tenant fire safety and keeping your sanity. Follow these handy tips to put your mind at ease and avoid costly fees!

Are you looking for a reliable and friendly fire safety provider? Talk to Global Fire. We’ll help you with any fire safety concerns you have for your property. Plus, our clients enjoy 24/7 emergency service should an incident occur after hours. For a wide range of fire protection solutions, call us now on 1300 88 70 18 or email inquiries@globalfire.com.au.