An Evening with Professor Ed Galea

On the 28th November 2018, Fire Check Consultants (FCC) had an opportunity to spend an evening with Professor Ed Galea, a world-renowned expert in the field of fire emergency evacuation strategies. Kudos to ‘Clevertronics’ for hosting such a wonderful event. FCC shared their experience in relation to lifts as an alternative evacuation facility in high rise buildings.

Generally, the use of lifts is not recommended for building occupants for evacuation purposes due to some of the major building fire incidents that have occurred in the past. FCC shared their opinion on the feasibility of using lifts along with design modifications as an alternative facility for a safer and more efficient emergency evacuation. Lifts with protected lobby for up to one-fourth of the building population and stairs for up to three-fourth of the building population can be provided for an improved evacuation strategy. One-fourth of the building population may even include aged and disabled occupants. The risks in combined evacuation systems (protected lifts and stairs) are lower when compared to using stairs or protected lifts alone.

The NCC 2016 Volume One prescribed performance requirement (DP7) for use of lifts as an alternative evacuation facility in buildings.

Building Facade Safety – By Sam Nothard

On the 1st October 2018 the Queensland Government put in place new laws to ensure the external cladding of buildings are safe by not posing a risk to external fire spread. The cause for the implementation of this law originates from the devastating Grenfell Tower fire which occurred in the United Kingdom in June 2017 claiming the lives of 72 people. The new law provides building owners and occupants the reassurance to feel safe knowing their building does not have combustible cladding on the facade.

The Queensland Government has established the ‘Safer Buildings’ website to help identify buildings in Queensland that may have potentially combustible cladding. The website provides background context and information for building owners, building industry professionals and fire engineers which may be found in the following link – https://www.saferbuildings.qld.gov.au/

If you’re wondering whether your building needs to be checked and registered, the government will have sent a letter to the building owner OR you can check yourself using the above link.

Owners of houses or townhouses do not need to register.

Our consultants have already assisted many clients with ensuring their building is deemed safe with non-combustible cladding and or provided recommendations to replace any combustible cladding. We provide services as both a building industry professional and fire engineer. We are able to carry out site visits to assess the building facade, with our capabilities extending beyond physical inspection with the use of drone technology possible for areas hard to inspect. Once the site visit is carried out, we provide the client with a Form 34 or a Form 35 in addition with a Building Fire Safety Risk Assessment (BFSRA), if required.

We are more than happy to assist Australian building owners through this new law and process and are here to help with any questions.