The owners of apartment buildings must be aware they have a role to play in keeping their building fire safe. They must be educated around the need to maintain and comply with fire standards.

This means ensuring their buildings have effective fire maintenance schemes with detection systems and other fire safety installations, such as extinguishers, hoses, exit lights and fire doors well maintained and up-to-date. Access to fire escapes must be clear at all times, with appropriate evacuation signage directing residents to exits.Managing agents are accountable for the buildings they oversee, ensuring that fire safety standards are upheld and the fire risk assessment needs to be periodically reviewed.

Where FRANKsecure find resistance is in the perceived battle to provide security versus safety. Traditional security locks often used in private residences and small businesses are not permitted on fire doors and exit doors. In short and to extend the above described requirements, fire doors must be able to latch shut and nothing can be installed that MAY PREVENT the door from doing so. In addition, EXIT doors (that may or may not also be a fire door), must be able to be opened at all times with a single handed downward action (few exemptions apply).

Unlike Australian Standards, Building Codes of Australia are readily available for FREE download so building managers and unit owners have no excuse not to be fully aware of their compliance requirements.

There are a number of older buildings which may not currently be subject to these requirements. However, this should not negate the pure moral obligation to ensure your building is as fire compliant as practically possible. And I certainly would not want to be the one facing a lawyer of the family seeking answers from an avoidable death from fire. Queensland underwent similar reviews when we suffered 15 deaths in the Childers Palace Backpackers Hostel fire in 2000 where occupants were unable to safely exit the building in a fire.

The solution is to be aware and care. Ensure your property is safe to occupy and safe to exit. Security can be implemented in other ways than deadbolts and other unsafe practices. Maintenance and regular upgrades to fire safety equipment, including fire door hardware, is essential and life saving.