In the event of a fire in a building, occupant safety and the protection of adjoining properties are the key functions of building regulations. Below are some of the key recent developments relating to fire safety in the NCC.

Vulnerable Children in High-Rise Buildings

NCC 2022 will include enhanced fire safety provisions for early childhood centres (ECCs) and primary schools located in multi-storey buildings. The provisions for ECCs will build upon the provisions already introduced into NCC 2019 Amendment 1 with comprehensive Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Provisions, while the provisions for primary schools will focus on egress.

The Office will develop guidance to help industry comply with the new provisions.

Bushfire Provisions for Non-residential Buildings

The intent of the NCC 2022 provisions is to ensure a minimum level of bushfire protection of buildings used by vulnerable people, such as hospitals, schools and aged care facilities.

Given the serious nature of bushfire hazard and the scope of buildings covered, the DTS Provisions will be conservative in some scenarios. Quantified Performance Requirements will facilitate the use of appropriate Performance Solutions as an alternate compliance pathway.

The Office will develop guidance to help industry comply with the new provisions.

Quantification of Fire Safety Performance Requirements

Quantified Performance Requirements for fire safety are being developed with input and advice from industry experts and prominent fire engineers. While the technical aspects of these provisions are well progressed they will continue to be refined through industry and expert input.

We will continue to work with industry and state and territory jurisdictions to ensure the necessary mechanisms for effective industry adoption and implementation in NCC 2025.

Smoke Alarms

This work looks at the number and location of smoke alarms in a residence, with the view to developing appropriate changes to the smoke alarms provisions for possible inclusion in NCC 2025.

As part of this review, we will work with Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) to update the 2012 ABCB Smoke Alarms RIS with consideration for the FRNSW’s testing program, and produce a Verification Method for smoke alarms for possible inclusion in NCC 2025

Related standards will also be reviewed, including AS 3786 and UL 217.

Work on this project was initially proposed for the 2020-21 financial year, but was deferred due to FRNSW resources being diverted to the 2019-20 summer bushfires and to the COVID-19 response.

Additional Projects

There are a number of projects relating to fire safety that are in the early stages of consideration, and may be included in future amendments to the Code:

  • Fire safety requirements for external walls
  • Fire safety of intensive horticultural buildings
  • Review of combustible materials on Class 1 and Type C construction

Questions

If you have any questions regarding this project, please submit an online enquiry.