Fire protection as an essential service during COVID-19

FPA Australia believes that fire protection work is an essential service.  

 

 

AFAC and FPA Australia confirm that fire protection work is an essential service

4 June, 2020

 

AFAC and FPA Australia have made a joint statement about the importance of routine service in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic.  

 

Learn more

 

 

Classification of fire protection as an essential service

8 April, 2020

 

The Association is also working with all levels of government to advocate for and clarify fire protection's position as an 'essential service', and its exemption from business shutdowns. 

 

Our position is that fire protection is not currently covered by the shutdowns implemented around Australia.

 

FPA Australia advocates for the continuity of essential fire safety maintenance by competent fire protection industry professionals across Australia where safe to do so.

 

Update on fire protection during coronavirus shutdown (8 April 2020)

 

Coronavirus and essential fire safety maintenance (26 March 2020)

 

Fire protection during coronavirus shutdowns (23 March 2020)

 

 

Routine service access during social distancing

20 March, 2020

 

FPA Australia has received reports of building owners and tenants refusing access to fire protection routine service practitioners, and of practitioners concerned about entering some buildings due to concerns about coronavirus and social distancing.

 

As a result, FPA Australia has written to the relevant Ministers in each jurisdiction seeking a response that:

 

  • Recognises that these issues are occurring and create valid reasons for circumstances where routine service is unable to occur.  
  • Emphasise that routine service should continue to occur where possible, but where not possible making provision for suitable delays in routine services and leniency on offences or penalties.

 

For your reference, you can read the letters sent to the Ministers here: 

 

Australian Capital Territory

 

New South Wales - letter 1

New South Wales - letter 2

 

Northern Territory

 

Queensland

Response

South Australia

 

Tasmania

Response

Victoria

 

Western Australia

 

 

 

NSW Essential Services Act shows that routine service is essential

2 April, 2020

 

In an effort to seek further clarity from the NSW Government, FPA Australia wrote to the Minister for Health and Medical Research pointing out the provisions of the Essential Services Act 1988.     

 

This legislation rules that the services providing support to fire-fighting are defined as an essential service.  

 

We have not received a response to this letter, but our letter shows that routine service work must be considered to be an essential service.  

 

The letter is available here.  

 

 

Queensland confirms that routine service work is essential

7 August, 2020


The Queensland Government recently responded to our correspondence. 

 

The response from the Chief of Staff to the Minister for Housing and Public Works  confirmed that the Government considers the inspection and maintenance of essential services such as fire safety systems to be important. 

 

Ms Melissa Hallam said that such work must continue in acoordance with applicable legislation. 


The response included a COVID-19 guideline, which stated:  

 

The regular inspection and maintenance of essential services within buildings should continue to ensure the ongoing safety of both occupants and the broader community.  

 

A copy of the letter can be found here.   

 

 

ACT Government confirms that fire safety systems are not restricted 

8 April, 2020

 

In response to industry queries, ACT Fire and Rescue has advised that there are no current restrictions on fire safety system companies.  

 

The Government's current business restrictions can be found here, and include guidance for all companies. 

 

The maintenance of systems as detailed by the Emergencies Act 2004 are required to continue to ensure the  ongoing safety of the Canberra community.   

 

For assistance with premises specific solutions, practitioners are advised to contact ACTFRFiresafety@act.gov.au.