The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and the National Fire Industry Association (NFIA) are joining forces to remind building owners and managers to ensure they are staying up to date with fire protection safety and maintenance checks for commercial, industrial, and residential buildings.
Fire protection work has been recognised in each state as essential work that must continue even under current restrictions.
The upheaval of the past 18 months and recent lockdowns have made access to buildings by fire protection professionals more difficult because of social distancing requirements and government restrictions.
However, building owners and managers should ensure fire protection safety and maintenance checks are up to date to ensure occupants’ safety and the integrity of their premises.
NFIA CEO, Glen Chatterton, said regular checks for fire protection safety and maintenance are essential to ensuring the safety of occupants and the asset of the owner, but the NFIA knows from talking to its members that these programs have unfortunately been disrupted because of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
“By failing to undertake legally required regular inspections, testing and maintenance, business or property owners could be open to hefty financial risk, fines, safety breaches and litigation. We’re asking building owners and managers to accommodate fire inspection professionals to allow them to carry out their essential safety checks and repairs to protect the building and its occupants in case of fire,” Mr Chatterton said.
ICA CEO, Andrew Hall, added that regular and current fire protection inspections are an essential component of building occupant and building infrastructure safety.
“Building fire safety maintenance checks by way of inspection and testing are a requirement of many commercial and strata-title building insurance policies, and failure to conduct routine fire protection safety maintenance may affect insurance coverage,” Mr Hall said.
“People that live, work, or visit a building expect it to be safe, but this can only be assured if fire protection professionals are able to regularly inspect, test and certify fire-related safety equipment which are important components of a building’s risk assessment.”