Fire control centres and rooms, often referred to as "Fire Control Rooms" or "FCCs," are critical elements in ensuring effective fire safety measures within a structure in Australia. These centres play a pivotal role in managing, directing, and controlling fire safety systems, including but not limited to fire detection and alarm systems, sprinkler systems, and evacuation procedures.
These spaces are designed to provide a central point for the fire protection system's control equipment and must be designed to ensure they're readily accessible to both building occupants and responding fire brigade personnel in the event of a fire. In essence, these rooms act as the hub of fire safety operations and are integral to the strategic management of fire incidents.
In Australia, the regulations around fire control centres are covered by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and various Australian Standards. Particularly relevant standards include AS 1670.1, which deals with Fire detection, warning, control, and intercom systems - System design, installation, and commissioning; and AS 1851, which covers routine servicing of fire protection systems and equipment.
Fire control centres should include various facilities, including fire indicator panels, a layout plan displaying the location of fire compartments, alarm zones, evacuation plans, a telephone for emergency use, and controls for any installed smoke control measures.
It is also vital to note that fire control centres and rooms should be regularly tested and maintained as per the guidelines provided in AS 1851. This involves conducting regular inspections, testing, preventive maintenance, and surveys to verify that the fire control centres are functioning optimally.
As part of the fire safety requirements in Australia, Fire Control Centres must be included in the Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS). This is a legal document issued by a competent fire safety practitioner, which states that all the essential fire safety measures within a building have been assessed, are installed correctly, and performing to the standard to which they were originally designed and implemented.
Fire control centres, given their crucial role in the overall fire safety management system, represent a key item in this statement. By including the Fire Control Centres in the AFSS, the building owner or manager acknowledges the role of the FCC in maintaining safety and asserts its proper function and maintenance, thus contributing to ensuring the safety of the building's occupants and the broader community.