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New laws regarding the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms in all Queensland homes will come into effect from 1 January 2017.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said the changes followed the recommendations handed down after the 2011 Slacks Creek fatal house fire.
The smoke alarm legislation will be introduced to ensure the State’s households are among the safest in the country.
"Smoke alarm laws have been overhauled in a bid to prevent a repeat of the tragic Slacks Creek fire that claimed 11 lives,” Minister Ryan said.
This new legislation is an investment in fire safety. It means people will be alerted to house fires as early as possible, giving them the best chance of survival.
Under the new legislation, every Queensland residence will need to be fitted with photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms in all bedrooms of the home as well as in hallways or between areas containing bedrooms. A 10-year phased rollout of the legislation would give Queenslanders time to ensure they had the right alarms and they were correctly located and installed.
From 1 January 2017, all smoke alarm installations will need to be fully compliant for new buildings or when significant renovations occur.
Private dwellings will be required to comply with the full smoke alarm requirements within 10 years and all houses leased or sold will need to meet compliance within five years.
Any smoke alarm being replaced after 1 January, 2017 must be a photoelectric type alarm.
“When it comes to alerting people early to fires, research supports photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms as the most effective,” he said.
“An interconnected alarm system means that if you are asleep it doesn’t matter what part of the house the fire starts in, the alarm in your room will alert you."
“This is a life-saving overhaul to Queensland’s smoke alarm systems means we are leading the country with these reforms.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has worked closely with the State Government to develop the legislation.
Although some residents will have up to 10 years to comply with the changes, everyone should take action to update their alarm systems as soon as possible and make sure their new alarms comply with Australian Standard AS3786 for photoelectric smoke alarms.
For more information about Smoke Alarms, take a look at Fortifire's Smoke Alarms Web Page, download our Smoke Alarms Information Bulletin or give us a ca or send an email.
Today the Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef, the Honourable Steven Miles has announced that Queensland will ban the use of all fire fighting foams containing PFOS and PFOA.
This policy will "require that any existing stocks of foams containing PFOS and PFOA are withdrawn from service at commercial and industrial premises, and similar products phased out and replaced, as soon as practicable with more sustainable alternatives."
Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) has previously voiced major concerns both with the lack of consultation and process for implementation of this policy.
FPA Australia have supported improvements around the selection and use of firefighting foams in Australia and called for the immediate banning of foams containing PFOS. FPA Australia has also urged manufacturers to reduce and eliminate the production of long chain fluorinated foams containing PFOA in accordance with the US EPA PFOA Stewardship Program. However, significant issues exist surrounding the rollout of the ban that has been announced today.
FPA Australia is deeply concerned by the Queensland Government view that potential environmental impacts alone should determine foam selection and use. In addition, the Association has real concerns about the lack of transitional mechanisms for existing users of now banned foams to move to the fluorine free alternatives.
The Association believes that these legitimate issues have not been considered and, in the rush to take action on environmental concerns, the government has blindsided both producers and end users of these products in Australia. The Queensland Government has not engaged in any broad industry consultation to understand and balance the factors required to develop an informed policy position.
The Association has consistently advocated that all firefighting foams will have an environmental effect and that in addition to environmental impact; the selection and use of fire fighting foams should not discount the critically important factors of:
(a) Firefighting performance
(b) Life safety
(c) Physical properties and suitability for use on known hazards
(d) Compatibility with system design and approvals
Matthew Wright, Chief Technical Officer / Deputy CEO of FPA Australia said the ban was a simplistic response to a complex issue and potentially dangerous.
"Environmental impacts must be a key consideration in the selection and use of firefighting foams, but this policy naively ignores the new generation of short chain ≤C6 fluorinated foams which are non-toxic and non bioaccumulative and simply draws an unrealistic line between fluorine free and fluorinated foams as the deciding factor for selection," he said.
"Manufacturers of fluorine free and new generation of short chain ≤C6 fluorinated foam are members of our Association and have been committed to developing new foam solutions to transition away from traditional long chain fluorinated foams containing PFOS and PFOA for the express reason of improving environmental performance, but without compromising firefighting effectiveness and life safety."
"If a foam is not effective for the hazard, the environmental impact will be magnified by the persistence and potential escalation of the fire event itself, damaging smoke, and potentially carcinogenic products and runoff regardless of whether the foam is fluorine free or not."
It is clear that the use of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP's) as identified by the UN Stockholm Convention are damaging to our environment and therefore their use should be restricted. FPA Australia contends that such restrictions must be risk based and holistically consider all risk factors.
FPA Australia has seen no evidence that the Queensland Government has appropriately considered such factors holistically including firefighting performance, life safety, suitability for hazards, compatibility with existing systems and the financial impact of change for end users together with environmental risk. We have seen no Net Environmental Benefit Analysis supporting this position.
The Association is now calling on the Queensland government to suspend implementation of this policy and work with industry to develop appropriate and cost effective transitional arrangements for suppliers and end users as we have suggested from the outset.
In addition, we call on all governments considering these issues to participate in transparent and collaborative engagement with industry to ensure that all effective, compatible and environmentally sensitive foams available in the marketplace including fluorine free and new generation short chain ≤C6 fluorinated foams, can be used to better protect life, property and the environment.
To read the Queensland Government media release
In support of 4TO FM (Townsville), Fortifire will be donating $50.00 to the Give Me 5 for Kids campaign for each new Customer who signs a Fire Safety Equipment Maintenance Agreement during June.
Give Me Five for Kids is a fundraising initiative supported by over 40 radio & TV stations across regional Australia. For almost 20 years, the month of June has been dedicated to raising much needed funds for local community hospitals as well as sick children and their families when they need it most.
The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) are making changes in their response to alarm signals that reset in less than 10 seconds from alarm systems monitored by the QFES. This change only impacts premises monitored by the QFES.
A QFES Communications Officer will in the first instance try to reach your premises, as per your nominated Emergency Contacts, to advise that an alarm has presented, but has reset within 10 seconds. The Fire Communications Officer will then advise that the QFES will not be attending the premises and that the Emergency Contact should confirm with any persons on site that the Emergency Warning System (or other building services) has not activated. Finally, the officer will advise that these contacts should engage the premises’ Fire Protection Company (Fire Technician).
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has recently reminded
companies and individuals that fire protection for buildings is a serious matter and must only be undertaken by appropriately licensed entities.
Entities undertaking fire protection work must ensure they have the required licences in place and that they contract and perform work in accordance with the QBCC rules and legislation.
Those seeking to engage a contractor need to be vigilant and undertake reasonable due diligence in selecting their preferred services provider.
As at 1st February 2015, the National Construction Code (NCC) 2015 is available for download from https://services.abcb.gov.au/NCCOnline/
NCC 2015 is provided as a preview of requirements that will be adopted by the States and Territories on 1 May 2015.
The NCC is an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) developed to incorporate all on-site building and plumbing requirements into a single code. The NCC sets the minimum requirements for the design, construction and performance of buildings throughout Australia.
(In the past, the NCC was known as the Building Code of Australia)
Fortifire continues it's proud association as official Sponsor for Townsville's Western Suburbs Rugby Union Club.
We look forward to another safe and successful season in 2015.
Fortifire technicians undertake regular skills training.
As part of our commitment to safety, we recently completed our six monthly CPR and Low Voltage Rescue training and we also completed our three yearly first aid course.
In this photo, Campbell Yates is modelling our supreme bandaging skills.
Thanks to John Le Roy and his team at One-on-One Professional Business Training in Townsville for a great day.
Fortifire is proud to announce that we are the official Shorts Sponsor for Townsville's Western Suburbs Rugby Union Club.
Our company logo will appear on all Junior and Senior Team shorts for seasons 2014 and 2015 in the Townsville & Districts Rugby Union competition.
Fortifire wishes all teams the best of luck for a safe and successful season.
Changes to the Electrical Safety Act 2002 and a new
Electrical Safety Regulation 2013
will come into effect on 1 January 2014.
New Codes of Practice will commence on 1 January 2014.
On 1 January 2014 an amended Electrical Safety Act 2002 will come into effect. The amended Act will be available from the ESO website from 1 January 2014.
Read the explanatory notes for the new Electrical Safety Regulation 2013.
The amended Electrical Safety Act 2002 (ES Act)
The amendments do not significantly change the requirements for electrical safety in Queensland. In addition, any 'person conducting a business or undertaking' will already be familiar with many of the changes that have been in use since the WHS Act commenced on 1 January 2012.
On 1 December 2013 the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) replaced the Queensland Building Services Authority as the building industry regulator for Queensland.
The creation of the QBCC represents an important step in the most significant reform of the regulation of the building industry in more than 20 years. To reflect the sector’s position as a key driver of economic growth, and one of the largest employers in the state, the QBCC will be overseen by a professional governing board with extensive experience across a range of relevant sectors including law, finance and insurance as well as building and construction.
A licence is still required to undertake building work and all licensees can continue to operate using their current BSA licence cards and a QBCC licence card will be issued at the next renewal date.
For more information, click here - www.qbcc.qld.gov.au
So.....when will AS1851:2012 become mandatory in Queensland you ask.
What we can tell you is Building Codes Queensland has this week forwarded draft minutes from a meeting with stakeholders regarding the proposed Queensland Development Code MP6.1 changes incorporating implementation of AS 1851 – 2012.
There was general meeting agreement to the following proposal;
· 1 June 2014 – 31 December 2014: a transitional period where both the 2005 & 2012 versions are referenced under the MP6.1 and either can be used to meet the MP6.1 requirements, and
· from 1 Jan 2015 the 2012 version is the only standard referenced under the MP 6.1 and the 2005 version will no longer be able to be used.
It was generally agreed that this option allows time: