A Guide for Commercial Fire Alarm Inspection and Testing Requirements

As a business owner, the safety of your employees should be your top priority. A crucial part of this is ensuring you’re keeping your business clean, tidy, and above all fire safe. An easy way to do this is by following the fire safety guidelines.

But how do you do this? How do you make sure that your building is as prepared as possible in case of a fire? We’ve compiled a quick guide about commercial fire alarm safety regulations in Australia.

What Is AS 1851?

In Australia, the AS1851 determines the fire safety guidelines. The AS1851 describes all regulations related to fire safety, including fire alarm inspections.

AS 1851 stands for Australian Standards 1851, and it is legislation that dictates fire safety standards and protocols for all of Australia. 

The first version of the AS 1851 was released in 1989 and was Australia’s first official fire safety legislation. It’s updated as required to comply with health and safety standards, the most recent update came out in 2012, although, each state has different requirements surrounding whether the 2005 or 2012 versions are accepted.

For example, in New South Wales, businesses may follow older versions of the AS 1851 as long as they have sufficient documentation to show this. However, as these laws and regulations may change in the future, it is always recommended that business owners be listening for new legislation in your state or contact a fire professional to understand what is needed for your specific business.

How to be AS 1851 Compliant

The AS 1851 covers all fire safety procedures, equipment, and inspections that are required to ensure code compliance, or there are fire protection services that can help guide you. You should be aware of the following items that are covered by AS 1851:


You’re required to get the proper equipment for your building from a fire protection services provider. This will include alarm, sprinkler, venting and fire hydrant installation, among other items.

These all serve to reduce the damage done to your building in the event of a fire. It means that firefighters have more time to work on your building before you have to worry about any major loss in equipment.


The most important part of effective fire safety procedures is getting everyone to safety. A strong evacuation plan is key. 

Your employees should be aware of all of the emergency exits in the building. There should be emergency lights that can guide them out in case the power goes out. This will also help keep employees calm and collected so that they can evacuate in an orderly fashion.

Buildings are required to have working fire alarms. These should be tested regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly and that they give enough warning for employees to exit the building safely.

How Often Should Your Building Be Inspected?

The AS 1851 requires that fire protection equipment get inspected at different frequencies. These requirements establish that on a monthly basis, testing should be conducted on fire alarms and sprinkler systems, and every 6 months hose reels and extinguishers need to be tested. These inspections will ensure that all equipment and procedures are in working order in case of an emergency.

Keep Reliable Records

To be considered AS 1851 compliant, records need to be kept of inspections and installations as you may be asked to provide copies of these records to the state.

This is the only way to prove that you’ve been inspecting and replacing equipment properly. If you don’t know when your fire hydrant installation happened, then how do you know when it’s due for inspection?

If and when you sell your business, this is also information that your successors are going to need. The new owners of your business will also take up the torch of keeping the building AS 1851 compliant.

Get a Fire Alarm Inspection Today

If a fire happens, you want to save as much of your business as possible. This includes employees and equipment. The best way to do this is to have your business AS 1851 compliant.

This may not be able to protect everything inside your business, but it can keep the fire from spreading until firefighters can help. This can ensure that as many of your assets as possible are protected when the worst happens.

So don’t wait. Go ahead and get a fire alarm inspection today.

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