Fire upgrades for heritage buildings

Ensuring your building meets requirements

Most multi-unit housing developments have to comply with certain fire safety measures including fire detection systems, alarms, fire doors, emergency lighting and exit signs.

But if you manage a heritage building, complying with the requirements can be tough. While you could wait for the local council to issue a notice requesting a fire safety report, it’s often a wise decision to start your fire upgrade earlier.

Every year, the building owners, including owner corporations and strata schemes, must provide the council with an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) certifying that all fire safety measures have been tested, are operational and have been maintained in accordance with the relevant requirements.

Fire Upgrade Project Management

Appointing an independent Project Manager at the outset of a major fire upgrade is often an essential step towards ensuring the project comes in on time and within budget.

While it may feel tempting to save money on project management fees, it’s important to remember that fire upgrades are far more complex and time consuming than regular building work. In our experience, any project management fees are always far less than the cost savings made.

We recently completed an extensive fire upgrade on a four-level, 1920s building in Kirribilli. After the Building Fire Safety Order had been issued and the reports completed, the body corporate appointed Peter as Project Manager. His role was to prepare a fully costed Scope of Works and a realistic construction timeframe for the council. After a works order was issued, the work was completed and certified.

Peter’s tip:

“Body Corporates often try to organise things themselves when they receive a council fire order. I recommend appointing an independent project manager as soon as possible. It saves a lot of time and money in the long run – especially with heritage buildings.”

Ready to get started?

If you’d like to discuss your fire safety upgrade, please call us on 0412 355 887, or contact us