Conduct post-flood safety checks

With floodwaters inundating many residential and commercial complexes in south-east Queensland and beyond, Ferm is warning that fire safety equipment is frequently compromised.

Ferm CEO Steve Burton said there were insufficient procedures to ensure fire safety systems were operational. Frequently fire panels and pumps were inoperable, but occupants were still returning to flood-damaged buildings.

“We’re working with body corporates and property managers advising them on safety plans and how to conduct due diligence on fire systems, including temporary workarounds to ensure safety until full repairs can be conducted,” Steve said.

He warned that some buildings have water damage to fire walls which is not identified by builders and repairers who have insufficient training to understand the ramifications. Consequently, repair quotes could fall short.

“Building owners and residents need to talk with their insurers to ensure people’s lives are not at risk if repairs do not ensure buildings’ fire ratings are retained,” Steve said.

Qualified fire engineers should review temporary safety evacuation planning and overview fire-related repairs to ensure buildings are safe for occupancy.