Fire Precautions: Requirements During Construction 

This Bulletin has been generated to provide information on what is required as a minimum for all construction sites so as they are compliant with the requirements for the provision of fire fighting equipment during construction, and the need for emergency evacuation procedures in the event of a fire. 

The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 places an obligation on employers to ensure arrangements for an emergency at any workplace have been made for the safe and rapid evacuation of persons from the place of work. Furthermore, details of the arrangements for any such evacuation are kept on display in an appropriate location or locations at the place of work, and those procedures are tested for their effectiveness. 

AS 3745-2010 “Planning for emergencies in facilities’ can help design these requirements. 

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) section E1.9 “Fire precautions during construction” states: 

in a building under construction- 

(a) not less than one fire extinguisher to suit Class A, B and C fires and electrical fires must be provided at all times on each storey adjacent to each required exit or temporary stairway or exit: and 

(b) after the building has reached an effective height of 12m - 

(i) the required fire hydrants and fire reels must be operational in at least every storey that is covered by the roof or floor structure above, except the 2 uppermost storeys: and 

(ii) any required booster connections must be installed. 

Compliance with these requirements rest with the builder. If these requirements are not complied with, the relevant Building Surveyor responsible for issuing the building permit must enforce compliance with the BCA. 

These requirements are from the National Construction Code series 2013, Volume 1; Building Code of Australia Class 2 to class 9 (BCA) and AS/NZS 3745.

Download