For any further enquiries relating to this notice or the Allity Fire Safety Upgrade please contact your Facility Manager.
Q. Allity Fire Safety Upgrade Programme
A. Allity is committed to the ongoing safety of our residents, staff and all visitors to our aged care residences. Allity commenced a Sprinkler and Fire Safety Upgrade Programme across our homes before the NSW Government legislation came into place on 1 January 2013. Since May 2012 we have completed sprinkler installations in 5 of our facilities with a further home nearing completion and another to commence in May 2013. To complete 100% of our NSW facilities we are then left with two full sprinkler installations, at Calare and Greenwood and a supplement to the existing sprinklers at Riverwood in Albury. While completing the installations we have implemented a number of additional fire safety system improvements. Assessments have already been completed at all Residential Aged Care facilities to enable the planning and installation of sprinklers in all resident areas by early 2014.
Q. I can see sprinklers in some places in this facility and there is still a notice up, are they not working?
A. Some homes have partial sprinkler coverage. Unless 100% of the building is covered, the new legislation requires us to display this notice until the remaining resident areas, or sections of the building are fitted with automatic Fire Sprinklers.
Q. Should I be concerned about the notice?
A. The NSW Government passed a new law which came into effect on 1 January 2013. This law requires the installation of automatic Fire Sprinkler systems in all Residential Aged Care services in NSW. The new law also requires that from the 30th of April, services that do not currently have Fire Sprinklers must disclose this via a sign located at the entrance and on the website. This notice must remain until the time that the sprinkler installation has been completed. Allity is already coordinating the rollout of fire sprinklers across all Aged Care Facilities, having completed or commenced 7 facilities already and with expected completion by early 2014.
Q. What fire safety features are in place?
A. There are a number of safe fire prevention, smoke detection and fire retardant features within the building which all work together to protect occupants from harm. These include key features such as: • Smoke Detection and Alarm which are the early warning systems to notify occupants and the Fire Brigade. • Fire and Smoke Compartmentalisation is part of the building design which reduces the spread of smoke and fire by containing the fire to a particular location within a building. The spread is restricted in most cases for a period of at least one hour which provides enough time to evacuate the building. This is achieved through Fire Retardant Building Materials and Automatic Fire and Smoke Doors. • Buildings with Air Handling Systems are fitted with Fire Dampers which control the air flow to prevent smoke and fire spreading through vents and ductwork of a building.
Q. What happens if there is a fire?
A. All Allity Aged Care service staff complete regular mandatory training in emergency preparedness, fire safety and other emergencies which make them ‘action ready’ in the unlikely event of a fire. They will perform actions as per their training which is ‘site specific’ based on the individual characteristics of the building and the residents. Staff will move residents to a safe area of the building and await help from the Fire Brigade to evacuate the building.
Q. Why doesn’t this building have fire sprinklers?
A. Fire prevention features are dependent on the age of the building. When buildings are constructed, they must comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) at the time of construction including the prescribed level of fire safety protection. All Allity Aged Care buildings are compliant with the BCA, additional Commonwealth Codes and Local Council specific Aged Care requirements. As part of the overall fire protection system, Fire Sprinklers were not required at the time of construction of this facility.