What is baseline data?
Put simply, baseline data is information about your installed fire systems that indicate whether each system is operating at the expected level of performance that it was originally installed to be effective in response to fire and related emergencies.
When is baseline data required?
During inspections, testing and preventative maintenance, baseline data is required to compare the results of certain routine servicing activities to verify that the level of system or equipment performance expected by the approved design is being achieved.
Some baseline data is even explicitly required to comply with AS 1851—2012. If baseline data is missing for these systems, they would be recorded in your inspection as a ‘Fail’ because there is a ‘Failure to Verify’. However, this is not the same as a defect (Critical or Non-Critical). A defect is a matter that renders a system inoperative or indicates an impairment, which is different from a ‘Failure to Verify’. FPA Australia recommends the use of the following text when indicating a fail due to failure to verify baseline data: “Insufficient baseline data available to verify that the system continues to perform as required by the approved design.”
There’s no doubt that baseline data is essential information that you need to have ready during routine service.
Where can I find baseline data for my fire systems?
At times it can be challenging to keep track of relevant information about your fire system. Depending on the age of your building or facility, the diligence of the building designers, the record-keeping process of previous building managers, critical information can sometimes be hard to track. Likely, required baseline data will not always be readily available at a site.
That’s why we’ve listed some of the best sources for baseline data:
Documentation and records
One of the good sources of baseline data for your fire systems is your latest Fire Safety Statement (FSS). If prepared correctly, this will contain the relevant Baseline Data you need or at least can provide your fire safety provider with an insight on what baseline data to look for.
You can also find baseline data through equipment data sheets or technical data sheets related to specific equipment or items in your fire system. Be sure to supply your fire safety provider with these documents.
Property plans or building designs
Other items containing information that can be considered baseline data include drawings, diagrams and specifications about your building plan. This data is essential if your property has undergone any renovations or layout changes as it may impact the installed fire safety systems.
Fire engineering reports
These reports outline exemptions or adjustments that apply specifically to your fire system. It would be best to highlight these exemptions as failure to indicate such adjustments could fail a particular fire safety measure during an inspection.
Other sources of baseline data
Suppose you are struggling to obtain the information you need for baseline data, try contacting the previous building manager or owner. The building contractor might also have the data you need. In some cases, you can also get in touch with your local council, who may have copies of your building records.
Ensure that you have the accurate baseline data to determine that your fire system is up to standard and keep you safe.
Need help with your next fire system inspection? Contact Global Fire. Our expert team will ensure a smooth and worry-free process. We’re here to help you ensure your fire safety system is at its best condition and up to standard. For a wide range of fire protection solutions, call us now on 1300 88 70 18 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.