Emergency Lighting Inspection

Emergency and Exit lighting are a system of lighting that include green (lit) Exit signage, designed to protect the building-occupants and visitors in the event of an emergency, by providing a clear illuminated path through to the buildings escape route to the final exit door.

In the event of a mains power failure, the emergency lighting system should switch to a battery backup power supply, to provide illumination of the exit path, long enough for the occupants to safely exit the building.

Where do you need to have emergency & exit lighting?

Any government or commercial building that is occupied by employees, customers or the general public will require emergency lighting, as well as the common areas of multi-residential buildings.

Examples of building sites that require emergency and exit lighting include:

  • Office buildings
  • Shopping centres
  • Schools
  • Sporting venues
  • Enclosed car parks
  • Hospitals
  • Hotels
  • Bars & restaurants
  • Industrial & warehouse facilities
  • Foyers & hallways in multi residential

Testing requirements for emergency & lighting systems

All exits and emergency lights must be tested every 6 months to ensure they run for 90 minutes on battery by simulating a loss of power.

The results of the duration test, any defects / non-conformances and maintenance history must be recorded in a paper or some form of digital log book.

Who can test emergency & exit lighting systems?

An appropriately qualified person such as a licensed electrician should be used to test and inspect the components of any style of emergency lighting system.

The AS/NZS2293 standard includes requirements for testing of circuits and sensing of supply to the test facility which can only be performed by someone with the suitable qualifications.

Contact Blue Army to have your emergency lighting system tested.

Fire Extinguisher Inspection

Australian Standards for fire and safety and the National Construction Code of Australia stipulates that all workplaces should have portable fire extinguishers on site and easily accessible, regardless of what other fire protections mechanisms are in place.

How to control a fire in your workplace or home

To understand how and why fires burn, refer to the following graphic:

For a fire to burn, it needs three critical resources:

  • Oxygen (air)
  • Fuel (wood, petrol, paper, rubber, gas etc)
  • Heat (environment)

If you can eliminate any 2 of these elements, then you have a very good chance of extinguishing the fire.

For example, if you can stop the flow of oxygen and remove the fuel source or remove the fuel source and reduce the heat, then you may be able to extinguish the fire.

Why do you need to have a portable fire extinguisher in your workplace?

To put it simply, having a portable fire extinguisher in your workplace will be able to reduce or eliminate the degree of injury, damage, and cost to the business in the event of a small fire.

The key though is having the right type of fire extinguisher.

There are different types of fire extinguishers for different types of fires .Choosing the right fire extinguisher for your particular workplace and is very critical from a fire safety perspective, for example:

Class A – for fires involving Solid material

Class B – for fires involving flammable and combustible liquids

Class C – for fires involving flammable gases

Class D – for fires involving combustible metals

Class E – for fires involving energized electrical equipment

Class F – for fires involving cooking oil and fats

And knowing how to properly use a fire extinguisher will help to minimize the amount of damage caused by a spot fire.

It’s very important that you take the time read and understand the instructions on how to use your fire extinguisher – because in the event of a fire, you may not have time!

A good way to remember how to use one is with the acronym P-A-S-S.

Pull the pin

Aim at the base of the fire

Squeeze the lever slowly

Sweep from side to side

Where to correctly install fire extinguishers?

Ideally, your fire extinguisher should be installed with the following guidelines (as per Fire & Rescue authorities):

  • Max - 1200mm from floor to top of extinguisher handle
  • Min - 100mm from floor to bottom of extinguisher
  • The signage should be a min - 2000mm above floor level.
  • At a point that makes them most apparent to a person of average height and visual acuity
  • The extinguisher or extinguisher sign shall be clearly visible for up to 20 metres on approach.
  • The size of the sign shall be determined by location on and distance at which the sign must be legible.
  • A minimum of one sign must be provided above or adjacent to an extinguisher even if indicating the location of multiple or a mixed group of extinguishers.
  • The extinguisher and fire point location signs shall have a symbol, border and letters in white on a red field, complying with Australian Standard (AS) 2700.

Note that the maximum distance from any point to the nearest fire extinguisher shall a be no greater than 15m and in some cases, depending on the building type, the distance to the nearest fire extinguisher will be shorter, for example in class 2 to 4 buildings, the maximum distance is 10m.

At Blue Army, we will help you to choose the most appropriate fire extinguisher type for your business, we’ll install it to the relevant standard (AS/NZS 1851) and we’ll train you in how to correctly use it.

Contact Blue Army today to have your fire extinguishers tested and have peace of mind that they will be ready to use if you ever needed to.

Fire Blanket Inspection

We all know how devastating and damaging an out-of-control fire can be – if not tackled quickly, a raging fire will destroy anything on in its path. The economic loss can be crippling for a business and not to mention the potential loss of life.

However, if you can get on top of a fire on its early stages, you may be able to prevent any greater loss due to an out-of-control fire.

One way is ensuring you have fire blankets available in your workplace.

What is a fire blanket?

A fire blanket is a piece of fire extinguishing equipment designed to extinguish a small fire or any fire at its initial stage.

It is a blanket-like sheet typically made of wool or specially woven fiberglass fabric treated with flame-resistant chemicals.

Fire blankets are highly effective in containing and extinguishing small fires by smothering it and stopping access to the oxygen that is fuelling it.

Where to use a fire blanket?

Fire Blankets are ideal for use in kitchens, caravans, boats and other places where cooking fats and oils are present and have potential for igniting.

Additionally, a fire blanket can also be used as a thermal barrier against radiant heat and/or smother a fire on a person’s clothing.

When NOT to use a fire blanket

In some cases, it will not be safe or effective to use fire blanket, these situations may include:

  • If the fire is larger than the surface area of the blanket
  • If the surface area is uneven and cannot be fully covered
  • If the user does not know how to use the blanket properly
  • If the user or the people around them are in immediate danger and need to evacuate immediately

Always exercise good judgment and care on the side of safety.

Fire Blankets are only designed to be used once.

After use, you must dispose of the blanket in the most suitable manner, there will be instructions on the packaging on how best to dispose in an environmentally safe way.

And once you’ve used the fire blanket, ensure you replace it with a new one as quickly as you can.

Blue Army can help you source the right fire blanket for your business and Inspect your blanket as required by the relevant Australian standards.

Fire Door Inspection

Fire doors are an integral part of a building’s fire control systems.

To put it simply – while fire doors are a passive fire protection system, they are designed to save lives!

Fire doors are specialised doors which are thoroughly tested against the elements and purpose-built to withstand roaring fires for as long as possible.

They enable buildings to contain and delay the spread of fire from one area to another.

Fire doors have a few vital safety features and really can be the difference between life and death.

Two of the most important functions fire doors are:

  • When closed, they form a barrier to stop the spread of fire and,
  • When opened, they provide a means of escape from raging fire

Do fire doors need to be inspected?

You may think once a fire door has been installed, that’s it, after all, it’s only a door, albeit a very special type of door.

The term ‘fire door’ is the common short form used for a ‘fire-resistant-door set’.

A fire-resistant door set consists of a door leaf, doorframe and associated hardware such as closers, handles, locks, vision panels, air grills and matching fire door tags on the door and doorframe.

Fire doors are also required to be self-closing and latching.

As per AS/NZS Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, there is a nationwide, annual inspection mandate for commercial fire doors and their components, improving the reliability of evacuation and overall life safety of occupants.

You must be up to date on fire door inspection requirements and how these affect your business.

Each fire-resistant-doo set (fire door), will be tagged in accordance with AS/NZS 1905.1 with the following information:

  • The component standard – AS/NZS 1905.1
  • Fire resistant Level (FRL) – e.g. -/60/30
  • Manufacturer’s name (Company name)
  • Applicant’s name
  • Certifier (Company name)
  • Door tag number
  • Year of manufacturing

Since fire doors have such a pivotal role in the fire management strategy of a building, it’s in your best interests to ensure they are inspected on a regular basis.

At Blue Army, our advice is to inspect the door set every six months at minimum.

However, for newly occupied buildings or places with high traffic, a more frequent inspection routine may be necessary.

Doors in higher traffic areas will wear quicker as they are used more often.

Blue Army are here to advise you on the optimum fire door inspection frequency for your workplace.

Keeping your fire doors maintained and effective

Here are 10 simple and effective steps you can take to ensure your fire doors are kept up to standard and will be ready to do their job if the time comes:

  • Clear the doorway: Keep all fire doors and other evacuation pathways clear of debris, stock, and anything that would prohibit an easy exit.
  • Look for visible labels: Make sure fire door labels are visible and legible to know when you need to inspect.
  • Keep exit signs lit: Check fire door exit signs to ensure they are brightly lit and not blocked by anything.
  • Lubricate the hinges: Lubricate door hinges on a regular schedule to ensure doors open easily
  • Clean the hinges: Keep hinges free of compacted dirt and dust. We recommend cleaning your fire door hinges monthly to ensure there’s no build-up
  • Check fire door frames and hardware: Ensure door frames, latches, hinges, and noncombustible thresholds are aligned, fully working, and secure, with no visible signs of damage.
  • Check fire doors close fully: Make sure the self-closing device is operational and that the door closes completely from the full-open position
  • Ensure inactive leaf closes first: If a coordinator is installed, ensure the inactive leaf closes before the active leaf.
  • Add nothing to the doors: Do not allow anything (extra hardware, door stops) to be installed or modified on a fire door. This will void the designation of the fire door and become a costly code violation.
  • Verify tight door seals: Verify all seals and edging are tight and the material is flexible. Hardened seals will not form a proper suction.

Contact Blue Army today to have your fire doors tested in accordance with Australian standards.

Fire Hose Reel Inspection

No doubt you will have seen these large red ‘wheels’ with a hose wrapped around it in commercial or even apartment buildings – these are fire hose reels.

But what exactly are they used for?

A fire hose reel is designed to be a first attack piece of fire-fighting equipment

It is meant to be used as a quick-response method by any member of the general public for fighting fires in their early stages – in other words, to contain a fire outbreak.

Fire hose reels are suitable for Class A fires which include: Paper, Textiles, Wood, Most Plastics and Rubber.

When NOT to use a fire hose reel

Do NOT use on electrical fires.

Fire hose reels are easy to use and provide a virtually unlimited supply of water, as they are connected to the mains water supply, and should extend for approximately 35 metres.

And as you know, water conducts electricity, so using a fire hose reel on an electrical fire could lead to electrocution!

What are the components of a fire hose reel?

Fire Hose reels consists of a length of non-kinking tubing.

They are permanently connected to a water supply and consist of a main turn on/off valve, a hose guide, and a hose with a nozzle.

The control nozzle attached to the end of the hose enables the operator to control the direction and flow of water to the fire.

Just remember though, these fire hose reels provided for firefighting purposes ONLY and must not be used for cleaning purposes, this can lead to fines.

Do fire hose reels need to be inspected?

The short answer is yes.

All fire hose reels require inspection & testing every 6 months in accordance with Australian Standards.

Testing is to ensure the hose reel is operational in the event of an emergency.

During the testing, a qualified person will check the hose for a number of things, such as: whether or not there is sufficient rate of water flow at the nozzle, if the hose is leaking, that it is free from dust and debris that may cause damage to the hose and that it is operating to its full capacity.

Contact Blue Army to have your fire hose reels tested.

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