On 1 July 2013, the Australian Building Codes Board released a consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) assessing the need for fire hose reels in new residential buildings.
Currently fire hose reels are required by the National Construction Code as a first fire attack system provided for use by residents. Although effective when used correctly, the value of fire hose reels in buildings has been questioned. This is due to behavioural issues associated with the use of fire hose reels in terms of resident’s awareness and lack of confidence in operating the equipment.
Apart from the status quo, the RIS considers the option of requiring additional fire extinguishers in buildings and removing the fire hose reels requirements. This option is likely to both improve fire prevention outcomes by reducing risks associated with untrained building occupants fighting fire; and reduce building costs. Therefore, this option is likely to have a net benefit.
The COAG RIS for consultation prepared by the Australian Building Codes Board has been assessed as adequate by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.
The consultation period closes on 9 August 2013.