AS1851-2012 Compliance-fire-safety-measures

AS 1851-2012 Compliance

Fire safety testing, inspections and maintenance

From 13 February 2025, all building owners  must maintain essential fire safety measures and equipment in accordance with Australian Standard 1851-2012 (AS 1851-2012).

Currently, fire safety measures must be maintained (with no specific standard listed) and assessed annually in accordance with the codes listed in the schedule attached to the AFSS. Compliance with AS 1851-2012 will increase scrutiny and add consistency to all fire safety inspections.

What is AS 1851-2012?

AS 1851-2012 is the Australian Standard that covers the regular testing, inspection, and maintenance requirements for a wide range of building fire detection and suppression systems. It specifies the essential processes to ensure these critical systems remain in safe and effective operational condition.

Amending Regulation

The applicable regulation is the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Regulation 2021 (the Amending Regulation), which was amended to mandate the procedures and oversight for the routine maintenance of fire safety measures.

Systems covered by AS 1851-2012

  • Extinguishers and blankets
  • Sprinklers
  • Fire hydrants
  • Fire and smoke management systems
  • Fire doors
  • Fire alarms
  • Hose reels
  • Smoke and heat venting
  • Halon, gaseous and pyrogen aerosol systems
  • Pumpsets
  • Lay flat hose
  • Smoke alarms
  • Water mist systems
  • Electrical wiring interconnection systems
  • Evacuation systems
  • Fire monitoring systems

Systems not covered by AS 1851-2012

AS 1851-2012 does not cover all essential fire safety measures (e.g., exit signs, emergency lights, emergency lifts, fire control rooms, etc.). However, even if the regulation does not mandate maintenance processes, these measures will still need to be maintained to the Standard of performance specified in the schedule.

AS 1851 does not apply to measures not covered by the Standard or where the fire safety schedule specifies a different maintenance process (if that process is part of an approved performance-based solution).

Accredited Assessors

Only individuals accredited under an approved industry accreditation scheme (accredited practitioners (fire safety)) can assess fire safety measures before they issue an annual fire safety statement (AFSS) or supplementary fire safety statement. This applies to classes of building from 1b to 9. You can check that your contractor is an adequately accredited persons, and the fire safety measures they can endorse on the Practitioners Register

This requirement has been in effect since 2020, but in February 2025, it will also apply to certificates for new buildings.

From 13 February 2025 (or 18 months after an accreditation scheme is approved, whichever occurs first), builders and developers must use an accredited person(s) to certify newly installed fire safety measures before issuing a fire safety certificate, and include relevant information about that accredited person in the fire safety certificate.

Committee Obligations

Strata committee members are responsible for ensuring AS 1851-2012 compliance by:

  • Appointing competent fire contractors to conduct the required servicing activities.
  • Reviewing and approving servicing reports and recommendations from the fire contractors.
  • Scheduling and budgeting for required repairs, replacements, or upgrades identified.
  • Maintaining comprehensive records of all inspection, testing, maintenance, and repairs
  • Arranging for annual surveys and condition reports by accredited fire safety practitioners.

Failure to comply with AS 1851-2012 can expose the owners corporation to significant liability risks, regulatory penalties, and most importantly, potentially catastrophic safety risks to residents and visitors.

Logbook Requirements under AS 1851-2012

Maintenance documentation will also need to comply with AS 1851. Owners corporations will be required to keep detailed inspection records onsite and could face fines for non-compliance with the new standards. Required site logbooks under the Standard are:

  • Portable Fire Equipment
  • Fire Detection System
  • Emergency Warning & Intercommunication System (EWIS)
  • Smoke and Heat Alarms
  • Fire Doors
  • Fire Tanks
  • Special Hazard Systems
  • Fire Sprinklers
  • Fire Pumps
  • Fire Hydrants

How should building owners prepare for these upcoming changes?

For some building owners, no preparation is needed if you already have contracts with practitioners to maintain measures and provide documentation in accordance with AS  1851-2012 (even though this is not currently mandatory).

If measures are not already being maintained to AS 1851-2012 in buildings needing an annual fire safety statement, the Standard is not mandatory until 13 February 2025. However, building owners should ensure maintenance contracts are updated to comply with the Standard by 13 February 2025.

Indicative timeline

Rob Broadhead from 20/20 Fire Protection suggests the following six-month plan to ensure your building’s fire safety measures are compliant.

Here’s how to stay ahead:

6 Months Out: Lock in Your Team

Start discussions early, ensuring everyone—from owners to practitioners—agrees on terms and timelines and secure your contracts with fire safety experts.

3 Months Out: Begin the Safety Check

Start annual testing and assessments.

2 Months Out: Annual Inspections

Complete all annual testing and assessments.

45 Days Out: Get the Report

Owners to receive the inspection report to provide 15 days to review, discuss, and align on the findings.

30 Days Out: Plan Repairs

Issue work orders for any fixes – giving time to have work completed before AFSS issue.

3 Days Out: Finalise Paperwork

Complete and endorse your AFSS to allow time for final reviews and all-party sign-offs.

1 Day Out: Submit to Council

Submit AFSS to council to beat the deadline, avoiding fines and maintaining good council relations.

Watch the webinar on the reforms 

Download a copy of 20/20 Fire Protection’s AFSS & Accredited Practitioner Checklist. 

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