FAQs

Got a question about fire detection and warning systems? It’s probably covered here – but if not, contact us and we’ll be happy to give you the answer.

What are the most common causes of fires?

In the workplace, the five most common causes of fire are faulty electrics, flammable and combustible materials, human error, general negligence and arson. Alarms, warning systems, sprinklers and fire proof doors can all help stop the spread of fire and reduce the risks to human life.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is difficult to detect because it is odourless, tasteless and colourless. When breathed it displaces the oxygen in the blood and deprives vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can cause loss of consciousness and suffocation within minutes.

What is the difference between a conventional and an addressable fire alarm system?

With addressable fire alarm systems, you can pinpoint exactly which alarm device has been activated. Every device has its own unique address, so in a fire situation, the particular device that has been activated will be highlighted on the control panel – meaning you can tell the exact location of the fire and take action quickly. This solution is most suitable for larger buildings covering multiple levels.

With a conventional system on the other hand, there is no way of pinpointing the exact location of the fire as the alarm devices are not individually identified.

How often does my fire system need to be serviced?

Fire Alarms and Sprinkler Systems are serviced monthly, with detailed annual and five yearly services. Extinguishers, fire doors, penetrations and emergency lights are serviced six monthly and annually.

What tests are performed during an inspection?

During our inspection we will check that your fire system is working correctly. To do this we:

  1. Test and calibrate alarm sensors
  2. Simulate inputs and test the announcement system
  3. Set the sensitivity levels
  4. Co-ordinate with the fire department to test input into their system
  5. Check any batteries for corrosion and expiry date
How long does the inspection take?

The monthly fire alarm inspection duration depends on the size of the building and the number fire panels that need to be checked. Other than the test of the announcement system, it’s unlikely you will notice the inspection is taking place.

Annual fire alarm tests are quite a bit more involved and are usually attended by two technicians. Depending on the size of the building the testing can take as long as a full day.

What should I do to keep my fire system in good order?

What should I do to keep my fire system in good order?

How does a fire sprinkler system work?

Fire sprinkler systems are heat activated, with each sprinkler head being automatically triggered by fire-specific temperature. In most situations, only one or two sprinklers are required to extinguish or contain a fire.

How can I protect my fire sprinklers?

To keep you fire sprinklers in top condition it’s important to keep decorations, paint, and other objects away from them. Be careful when moving large objects so you don’t bump into fire sprinkler heads or pipes. And obviously you should never hang anything from fire sprinklers as these can damage sprinklers and cause them to fail during a fire.

How do I know what type of system I need?

The type of system required depends on the building it is located in. The Building Code of Australia sets out specific requirements which QFE will discuss with you so you can be confident you comply with all regulation and that your people and property are protected.

Is my building effectively protected against fire?

QFE is happy to perform an audit of your existing system and let you know if it is compliant, and if it needs upgrading or replacing.

Does QFE monitor my fire alarm system?

No, QFE is not a fire monitoring service.

Can QFE integrate with my existing fire system?

Absolutely! One of the areas we specialise in is integration with legacy equipment and our fire system design will take this into account.