As you may be aware, the 2018 Plumbing Regulations came into force in November, the changes alter who can conduct the regular and required testing of fire safety equipment, namely Fire Hose Reel & Hydrants. Here’s an overview of the timeline for October, November and December so you can stay up to date with how situation is progressing.
If you didn’t catch up on that news, here’s my take on the situation that I posted on LinkedIn in October 2018.
Fire Protection Industry at risk = buildings and occupants at risk!
Earlier this week the Plumbing Regulations 2018 were passed by the Victorian Government, so what you might ask………
The Regulations will have a large impact on the Fire Protection industry who service the Fire Hose Reel, Fire Hydrant and Sprinkler systems in buildings. From 19 November 2018 the qualified technicians servicing this equipment will now need to also hold a Plumbing Registration.
Concern by Industry Association (Fire Protection Association Australia) is that this will create a severe shortfall of technicians, and leave many fire safety systems and essential safety measures not being serviced.
Apparently there is only a very small number of registered plumbers who have completed the required competency units to conduct testing and maintenance on fire safety systems, and this leaves a gap that could take years to fill.
This change to the Regulations has potential to impact on the safety of many buildings, owners and occupants, which is really concerning!! Watch this space…….
The VBA (Victorian Building Authority), FPAA, and other bodies have multiple meetings to discuss a new Restricted Class of Registration.
This week the Fire Protection Association Australia provided a further update on the progress towards a solution, read their Bulletin below.
Wednesday 12th December 2018
Restricted classes for routine service still in development
Work is still progressing with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) on new restricted classes of registration/licensing for routine servicing of fire protection equipment under the recent Victorian Plumbing Regulations 2018.
Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) and other stakeholders are meeting with the VBA tomorrow to discuss competency and transition arrangements for persons working on hose reels and hydrants.
The VBA’s continues to have discussions with key stakeholders regarding routine service of sprinklers.
Meanwhile, FPA Australia has received formal letters of support from the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and the Strata Community Association Victoria (SCAV), who both back our proposed framework for restricted classes under the new regulations. You can read the ICA letter here, and the SCAV letter here.
FPA Australia is continuing to work with the VBA on the implementation of this framework and the new restricted classes, and we will keep you up to date as the situation develops.
Fire Protection Association Australia
We’ll keep you updated on this topic as it unfolds and as the industry works towards a solution.