How to check whether your building is fire compliant or not

Fire compliance is an important aspect of making sure buildings are safe, and there are various steps building owners in New Zealand must take to ensure effective fire safety precautions are made. So, most importantly,  how can you check if your building is fire safety compliant or not?

Firstly, fire compliance is crucial for the safety of the occupants of the building. Without the proper precautions taken, fire hazards can and will overrun an entire building, so if there’s no safe evacuation route predetermined, the occupants are at a great risk of not being able to escape in time. Making sure your building is up to fire compliance standards is ensuring that it is as safe as possible and that the proper precautions have been taken to reduce the risk of fire emergencies occurring. In the case of a fire emergency, having a clear plan of action of how to reduce the risk of the fire worsening or spreading is key.

fire compliance

There are various components to the fire compliance standards, in fact the legislation regarding fire safety for buildings includes requirements relating to the design of the building as well as some requirements relating specifically to the operation, maintenance and general use of the building. 

These requirements are there to ensure that all buildings have taken precautions to prevent fires from starting, and there must also be thorough warning for occupants in the case of a fire breaking out, as well as safe evacuation routes for them. Escape routes must have exits that are always clear of obstructions, with exit signs showing the way and unless managed with the proper system, exit doors must not be locked. Similar to this, stairwells and passageways should not be used for any means of storage, as this could greatly hinder people when evacuating. It’s also vital to ensure that all electrical equipment or appliances are in good working order to reduce the risk of a poorly performing appliance causing a fire. Lastly, make sure your stock is stored away from any escape routes so as not to obstruct the way, and that stock isn’t stored near a heat source or stacked too high that it stops any essential fire detecting equipment, like sprinklers, from working.

Not only does the design of the building strongly affect its overall effectiveness against preventing fire hazards, but so do the materials used in building it. These days, it’s a necessity for newer buildings to meet all the requirements for fire compliance, known as full compliance, whereas existing buildings typically only need to be partially compliant, predominantly just needing a means for the building occupants to safely evacuate. 

To increase effectiveness against fighting fire hazards, having first aid fire fighting equipment on site, specifically a fire extinguisher or even a hose reel, is strongly recommended on commercial sites. It's important that building occupants are trained in how to operate this equipment and that all fire detection, as well as fire suppression systems, are well maintained and easily identifiable.

How to check whether your building is fire compliant or not

Lastly, any corporate building or buildings that allow public access must have a system in place in order to make certain that people have a safe evacuation route in the case of a fire or alarm of a fire.

So, if you’re uncertain as to whether or not your building meets the fire compliance requirements, how do you check? The easiest and most accurate way is to have a specialist come in and conduct an inspection of the site. In the case of your building failing to meet fire compliance standards, we can offer solutions to fix the problem so that you immediately know what your next step should be. Our fire compliance inspection is ideal for building owners of corporate, industrial and multi site properties. 

To those wondering what exactly a fire compliance building inspection entails, multiple aspects of the building will be checked during the procedure. Specifically, the overall size and layout of the building will be confirmed, and any areas that may have particular fire hazards present will be thoroughly assessed too. What the building is used for, regarding whether it manufactures or stores a specific type of product, is also taken into consideration. Your current evacuation plans, including any escape routes, as well as the staff you have employed and any visitors to the building including allowance for people with disabilities, will also be analysed as to whether it is all up to fire compliance standards. 

To be clear, having a Fire Compliance inspection is something to be regarded as useful and necessary in order to prevent any needless loss of life.

If you’re unsure as to whether your building meets fire compliance requirements, the best option is to have a professional come and check so as to avoid any hazards getting out of control.