Aged care fire audits

Ferm Engineering is part-way through a major project to conduct fire safety audits at more than 16 Blue Care aged care facilities around Queensland.

Ferm is conducting onsite inspections at some facilities and for others it is preparing audits after reviewing building surveyors’ reports on compliance with the National Construction Code (NCC) and Queensland’s MP2.2 Residential Care standard.

Managing Director Steve Burton said Ferm is preparing performance engineering designs to ensure the residential buildings will be repaired or upgraded to meet current fire safety standards at a cost-effective rate.

One problem Ferm has identified in many buildings – not just aged care facilities – during fire safety inspections is fire walls being breached by data and communications installers.

Most owners are unaware the breaches have occurred. Repairing damaged fire walls is expensive, but Ferm is working with product manufacturers to develop solutions and test products that can make breached fire walls safe again, without requiring complete replacement.

“Sometimes there’s no off-the-shelf fix, but our qualified fire engineers can develop passive fire engineering solutions to meet NCC requirements,” Steve said.

Ferm Engineering was commissioned by project manager LEAD Consultants to conduct the audits, which are part of a long-term project for Blue Care.