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Zone Block Plan Requirements (Fire Alarm)

This article describes the requirements for Zone Block Plans for Fire Detection, Alarm & Emergency Warning Systems in Buildings. There are an array of Standards that cover this requirement over time, so we hope to summarise the requirements, making it easier for everyone.

CEO, Firewize
12 Aug, 2019

What is a zone block plan?

Fire Alarm Zone Block Plan Example

A zone block plan is a drawing showing the layout of a building and the area covered by detection each zone or emergency zone within that building.  For multi storey buildings each zone may be represented by a single floor (within the limitations of a detection zone or emergency zone, as set out in the Standard AS1670.1 or AS1670.4).

A zone block plan forms part of the baseline data for a building. For the purposes of this article there are two types of zone block plans;

  • Zone Block Plan (Fire Detection and Alarm Systems - AS1670.1, Clause 1.4.20); or
  • Emergency Zone Block Plan (Emergency Warning Systems - AS1670.4, Clause 1.4.13).

The requirement for a zone block plan has not always existed within the Standard AS1670 and may not be retrospectively required.

Australian Standard Zone Block Plan Required
Fire Detection & Alarm Systems
  • AS1670.1-1986
  • AS1670.1-1995
  • AS1670.1-2004
  • AS1670.1-2015
  • AS1670.1-2018
  • No
  • No
  • Yes, Clause 3.10
  • Yes, Clause 3.10
  • Yes, Clause 3.10
Emergency Warning System
  • AS2220.1-1989
  • AS1670.4-2004
  • AS1670.4-2015
  • AS1670.4-2018
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • Yes, Clause 3.3.5

General Features of the Zone Block Plan1

Zone block plans and emergency zone block plans should be securely mounted and easily accessible at the FBP. The common features for these plans include;

  • Show the layout of the building in which the FDAS or EWS is installed;
  • Show the area covered by the zone (this could be different for an FDAS or EWS;
  • Show the location (where fitted) of CIE including the FDCIE, SHCIE, FFCP, EWCIEor EICIE;
  • Show the location of the buildings Main Electrical Switchboard
  • Show the year of the original installation and the date of the latest revision to the zone block plan;
  • A notice stating; "In the event of a fire ring 000 to ensure a fire service response";

Additional Features of the Fire Detection & Alarm System Zone Block Plan

  • Show the location of the FBP and marked "YOU ARE HERE";
  • Show the location of any Fire Suppression System controls;

Additional Features of the Emergency Warning System Zone Block Plan

  • Location where Baseline Data is stored
  • A statement identifying the design criteria for the approved design including NCC references and the like;

Australian Standard AS1670.4:2018 states that the EWS zone block plan may be combined with the FDAS zone block plan.

Confusion over Emergency Warning Systems and Occupant Warning Systems

Some confusion exists about the requirements for a Zone Block Plan for a Fire Detection and Alarm System that incorporates an OWS.

This is understandable because the Standard AS1670.1 which is the primary reference Standard for an OWS does not specifically deal with the additional requirements for a zone block plan.

In these cases it is generally accepted that a building fitted with an OWS does not have multiple evacuation zones.  Yes, it is possible the occupant warning system may be fitted with multiple amplifiers but typically these amplifiers are configured to operate as a have a single evacuation zone.

So while there is no specific reference to the requirements for an OWS on a Fire Alarm System Zone Block Plan, installers and maintainers should adopt best practice principles and make a note on the drawing that an Occupant Warning System installed to Australian Standard AS1670.1 is fitted within this building.

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