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Fire safety in strata buildings is crucial to ensuring the safety of residents and tenants and Strata companies have a responsibility to ensure compliance with fire safety regulations and to take necessary measures to protect their buildings from the risk of fire.
As we move into winter, many residents will be using heaters and heating services which can increase the risk of fire indoors.
To help prevent fire incidents, all owners must remain vigilant in the maintenance and routine servicing of fire safety measures and have in place building emergency response plans and procedures in the event of a fire. Occupants also have a role to play in keeping themselves and the building they live in safe from fire.
Fire Compliance Requirements 
Under Western Australian law, all buildings with public areas, such as common areas, must have an emergency plan that outlines steps to follow in the event of a fire or other emergency. Strata buildings are required to have the same set of procedures as residential buildings. This includes having fire and evacuation diagrams, emergency signage, and readily accessible fire emergency information for residents and tenants. Regular evacuation drills should also be conducted to ensure everyone is familiar with emergency procedures.
Fire Safety Measures
Strata buildings must have fire safety measures in place to protect residents, staff, and visitors in the event of a fire outbreak. These measures include fire extinguishers and early warning and detection systems to assist in case of a fire. These safety measures could be either automatic or for manual use (such as fire hose reels, fire sprinklers, smoke detection and alarm systems). It is important for strata companies to assess the specific fire safety requirements of their buildings and ensure that all necessary measures are in place and functioning properly.
Regular maintenance
Building legislation in Western Australia requires owners of Class 2 to Class 9 buildings (which includes residential apartments) to ensure the building’s safety measures are maintained. This is to ensure that safety systems remain capable of performing to a standard not less than they were originally required and commissioned to achieve. Routine servicing and any rectification or repair maintenance should be carried out by competent personnel with relevant skills. Your Strata Manager can help you arrange this.
Evacuation process
Building owners and occupiers should be familiar with the evacuation procedures in their building, and importantly, what to do in case of a fire. Consider placing reminders in common areas such as lifts or hallways.
Be proactive about fire safety
Proactivity is the best way to avoid fire in Strata properties. Consider providing education to owners about maintaining electrical and heating equipment, fire safe materials and hazards like candles.
By adhering to these requirements and suggestions, strata companies can protect their residents and assets, minimise the risk of fire, and create a safe living and working environment in their buildings.