Futura Fire's Logo - Fire Protection Services for Newcastle, Sydney and Regional NSW

Emergency Warning and Intercommunication Systems

Emergency Warning and Intercommunication Systems (EWIS) play an integral role in fire safety measures, particularly as components of the Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS). These systems are not only critical for alerting building occupants in the event of a fire or emergency but also provide a means for clear and effective communication among emergency responders and building occupants. 

The Building Code of Australia (BCA), which is part of the National Construction Code (NCC), provides the regulatory framework for the installation, maintenance, and operation of EWIS. The BCA mandates that EWIS are required in Class 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 buildings of certain size, complexity, and fire risk.

An EWIS comprises multiple components designed to work together in the event of a fire or other emergency. These include a fire indicator panel, manual call points, alarm sounders, emergency intercom stations, speakers, visual indicators, and emergency control units. These components must be able to function optimally under different emergency scenarios.

The EWIS provides audible and visual signals to alert the occupants of the building of a potential fire or emergency situation. It also provides evacuation instructions, assisting in a structured and systematic evacuation to minimize panic and confusion, thus ensuring occupant safety.

The intercommunication feature of the EWIS, on the other hand, facilitates communication between the Chief Warden, Wardens, and the occupants of the building. This system allows the Chief Warden to give instructions, receive information, and manage the evacuation process in an orderly manner. In addition, it provides a means for communication with the fire brigade when they arrive on the scene.

Regular testing and maintenance of EWIS are mandated by Australian Standard AS 1851. It is a requirement that these systems are inspected, tested and maintained to ensure their operational readiness. As part of the AFSS, building owners or their agents are required to submit an annual statement to the local council, certifying that all fire safety measures, including the EWIS, have been inspected and are found to be functioning correctly. Non-compliance with these requirements can lead to significant penalties.

In conclusion, Emergency Warning and Intercommunication Systems are vital elements in Australia's approach to fire safety. They ensure that building occupants are promptly alerted in the event of an emergency and provide a valuable means of communication to manage evacuation procedures efficiently and effectively.