Although a perennial process, organising and carrying out annual fire safety inspections can require much effort from building managers; however, a misstep could be time-consuming and can cost thousands in penalties, not to mention unhappy tenants.
Plus, carrying out inspections is a requirement to secure your AFSS — your primary proof of fire safety compliance.
So, how can you make the process of organising fire safety inspections less stressful? Here are five ways to simplify your fire safety inspection process:
Communicate with your fire safety provider
To kick off the process of securing the fire safety inspection, you will need to supply your fire safety provider with a council copy of your final fire safety statement. If you don’t have this statement handy, you can also supply your provider with the previous years’ AFSS that you’ve submitted.
Plan for enough inspection time
The EP&A regulation allows an annual inspection to be carried out up to three months before your AFSS due date. For this to happen, you must inform your fire safety provider to book inspections. This gives ample time to communicate with tenants, carry out inspections and address necessary repairs.
A good fire safety provider proactively keeps track of your inspection schedule and gives you advance notice. Does that describe your current provider? If not, you can switch to Global Fire, and we’ll do the rest for you.
- Coordinate with other contractors
Fire safety systems can be complex. That’s why your fire safety provider must work with other contractors in some cases. These include:
- Mechanical contractors. Contact them around the same time as your fire safety provider to avoid extra costs. They will usually need the assistance of your fire safety provider to carry out their checks. This is because some of the mechanical air handling equipment may be interfaced with your fire safety equipment.
- Lift contractors. In some buildings, lifts form part of your AFSS. This will require your lift contractor to complete part of your AFSS. A log of regular and up to date inspections by your lift contractor ensures that they are ready to sign your AFSS upon receipt. It’s also ideal to work with a lift contractor who employs a CFSP as they can directly sign off your AFSS.
- Emergency communications link provider. Customer-focused fire safety providers, such as Global Fire, can take care of this step for you. That’s one less signature to chase for your AFSS
Don’t overlook the time it takes to coordinate with these contractors. Remember, without their sign-off; you will not be able to complete your AFSS.
Inform tenants of the upcoming inspection
Again, allowing ample time matters here. If you manage a large building with many tenants, it may take several days before all necessary inspections are completed. Be clear about the time, date and what is involved. Do they need to be present at their premises? You will need to be very clear about the details, give all tenants enough notice and reach them through several communications channels (letters, noticeboards or email). It also helps if you can get tenants to entrust keys with you so that the inspection can go ahead even without them present.
For some tenants, having the choice to book a timeslot early in the morning suits their busy schedule. Why not check with your fire safety provider if they offer an option for tenants to self-book via an online system? This will help reduce the amount of work you need to coordinate in managing the fire safety inspection.
Address any critical defects
Your fire safety provider will supply you with a comprehensive report containing any defects found during the inspection. Critical defects need to be rectified by the contractors concerned to ensure compliance.
With a little bit of forward planning and good communications with your contractors and tenants, fire safety inspections need not be a drag. Follow these five simple steps, and you’ll enjoy a smooth process when your next inspection dates are due.
Looking for a fire safety provider who can make fire safety inspections easy? Contact Global Fire. We stay on top of your key inspection dates and inform you well ahead of time. Our team also offers a simple to use online early booking system to help you manage inspection times for your busy tenants. For a wide range of fire protection solutions, call us now on 1300 88 70 18 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.