- Fire Control Room
According to the National Construction Code ("NCC") 2019 Building Code of Australia - Volume One, Specification E1.8 a fire control room has additional features in addition to those of a fire control centre such as improved building fire integrity with specific fire resistance levels (depending on the effective height of the building).
Features of a Fire Control Room
A fire control room inherits the features of a fire control centre as well as having additional features set out in the National Construction Code as follows;
Construction of a Fire Control Room
A fire control centre in a building more than 50 m in effective height must be in a separate room where—
- the enclosing construction is of concrete, masonry or the like, sufficiently impact resistant to withstand the impact of any likely falling debris, and with an FRL of not less than 120/120/120; and
- any material used as a finish, surface, lining or the like within the room complies with the requirements of Specification C1.10; and
- services, pipes, ducts and the like that are not directly required for the proper functioning of the fire control room do not pass through it; and
- openings in the walls, floors or ceiling which separate the room from the interior of the building are confined to doorways, ventilation and other openings for services necessary for the proper functioning of the facility.
Protection of Openings in a Fire Control Room
Openings permitted by Clause 6 must be protected as follows:
- Openings for windows, doorways, ventilation, service pipes, conduits and the like, in an external wall of the building that faces a road or open space, must be protected in accordance with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of Part C3.
- Openings in the floors, ceilings and internal walls enclosing a fire control room must, except for doorways, be protected in accordance with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of Part C3.
- A door opening in the internal walls enclosing a fire-control room, must be fitted with a self-closing –/120/30 smoke sealed fire door.
- Openings associated with natural or mechanical ventilation must—
- not be made in any ceiling or floor immediately above or below the fire control room; and
- be protected by a –/120/– fire damper if the opening is for a duct through a wall required to have an FRL, other than an external wall.
Doors to a Fire Control Room
- Required doors to a fire control room must open into the room, be lockable and located so that persons using escape routes from the building will not obstruct or hinder access to the room.
- The fire control room must be accessible via two paths of travel—
- (i) one from the front entrance of the building; and
- (ii) one direct from a public place or fire-isolated passageway which leads to a public place and has a door with an FRL of not less than –/120/30.
Size and Contents of a Fire Control Room
- A fire control room must contain—
- a Fire Indicator Panel and necessary control switches and visual status indication for all required fire pumps, smoke control fans and other required fire safety equipment installed in the building; and
- a telephone directly connected to an external telephone exchange; and
- a blackboard or whiteboard not less than 1200mm wide x 1000mm high; and
- a pin-up board not less than 1200mm wide x 1000mm high; and
- a raked plan layout table of a size suitable for laying out the plans provided under (vi); and
- colour-coded, durable, tactical fire plans.
- In addition, a fire control room may contain—
- master emergency control panels, lift annunciator panels, remote switching controls for gas or electrical supplies and emergency generator backup; and
- building security, surveillance and management systems if they are completely segregated from all other systems.
- A fire control room must—
- have a floor area of not less than 10 m2 and the length of any internal side must be not less than 2.5 m; and
- if only the minimum prescribed equipment is installed — have a net floor area of not less than 8 m2 with a clear space of not less than 1.5 m2 in front of the Fire Indicator Panel; and
- if additional equipment is installed — have an additional area of not less than 2 m2 net floor area for each additional facility and a clear space of not less than 1.5 m2 in front of each additional control or indicator panel, and the area required for any path of travel through the room to other areas must be provided in addition to the requirements (ii) and (iii).
Ventilation and Power Supply for a Fire Control Room
A fire control room must be ventilated by—
- natural ventilation from a window or doorway in an external wall of the building which opens directly into the fire control room from a road or open space; or
- a pressurisation system that only serves the fire control room, and—
- is installed in accordance with AS 1668.1 as though the room is a fire-isolated stairway; and
- is activated automatically by operation of the fire alarm, or sprinkler system complying with Specification E1.5, installed in the building and manually by an overriding control in the room; and
- provides a flow of fresh air through the room of not less than 30 air changes per hour when the system is operating and any door to the room is open; and
- has fans, motors and ductwork that form part of the system but not contained within the fire control room protected by enclosing construction with an FRL of not less than 120/120/120; and
- has any electrical supply to the fire control room or equipment necessary for its operation connected to the supply side of the main disconnection switch for the building,
and no openable devices other than necessary doorways, pressure controlled relief louvres and windows that are openable by a key, must be constructed in the fire control room.
Sign for a Fire Control Room
The external face of the door to the fire control room must have a sign with the words—
FIRE CONTROL ROOM
in letters of not less than 50 mm high and of a colour which contrasts with that of the background.
Lighting for a Fire Control Room
Emergency lighting in accordance with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of Part E4 must be provided in a fire control room, except that an illumination level of not less than 400 lux must be maintained at the surface of the plan table.