7 May / Quality

Temporary Fire Services During Construction

Temporary Fire Services including hydrants, fire hose reels and extinguishers are a requirement of the National Construction Code. They provide protection against the potential risk of fire on a building site during construction. Refer clause E1.9 below for specific details.

On building sites, there is risk of fire from construction activities, materials and fuel.

This may pose a significant risk not only to people and the project but also to neighbouring properties.

It’s important to remember that a building site does not have the permanent fire protection systems that protect people and property when the building is complete.

A summary of the requirements can be found here.

What do I need to do from here?

As always, careful planning of the works is necessary. Ensure that this requirement is managed through design.

Then, during construction, implement the requirement in a timely manner to ensure a compliant fire protection system is in place as soon as possible, and before the limits are reached during construction.

All projects need to have a programme that considers the activities and timing required to ensure compliance. Please ensure lead time works including boundary connections, procurement etc are included and a milestone linked to the E1.9 criteria are included.

Keep in mind boundary connections are usually a long process and may impact on permanent water sources for example, so temporary services may be necessary as an interim, where approved by the relevant authorities/designers.

Ensure consideration is given to any water tanks and fire pumps that are required to maintain the fire services protection at all times.

Please ensure safety audits include for regular checking for compliance of these requirements.

If there are any issues with achieving strict compliance, consult the Building Certifier/Building Surveyor/PCA, and any relevant Regulators and Fire Brigades to ensure the works don’t progress without suitable fire protection.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

There are a number of devastating consequences for Hutchies if we are found to be non-compliant. These include:

Risk to people & property
Several fires on other builders’ construction sites have caused damage to cranes.
Recently, arson on a Hutchies site caused damage and delays to the project.
Regulators & associated penalties
It varies from state to state but essentially this is non-compliance to the NCC – which is failure to meet legislative requirements, and failure to adequately (competently) supervise our projects.
This will attract disciplinary action which could include the following:
The works will need to stop until they are compliant. This could create considerable time delays and result in delay costs.
Public record
Disciplinary action goes on our public record as a black mark against Hutchies, typically for 5 years after an issue is finalised.
Even if no financial penalty is issued – the fact that a regulator had to issue Hutchies a non-compliance notice and had to direct us to rectify is written up against our name publicly for 5 years.
Licence demerit points / suspension / cancellation / sanctions
All states have different systems but non-compliance can contribute to licence restrictions/validity.
Every state is reliant on every team and every project they have under construction being compliant.
The regulator involvement can range from an improvement notice, to a direction, to a Show Cause notice, all the way through to licence restriction/suspension/cancellation if repeated incidents occur.
Financial penalties
Fines range from $110,000 to over $150,000. This is added to by our collective management time, plus legal fees in some cases which can lead to over $200,000 for one incident. Incidents can easily cost $500,000 if we fail to comply!
Industrial manslaughter
In QLD & ACT at present, with VIC proposed and potentially federally in the future, the lack of fire safety systems under the NCC falls under HSE and could involve industrial manslaughter charges.
Reputational damage
All of the above have reputational impact to Hutchies at a professional level – with government, financial (banking) and institutional investors all having significant concerns with compliance, and media coverage potentially putting significant focus and pressure on Hutchies.
Any damage to our reputation puts our pipeline of work at significant risk!
Check the relevant state legislation for more information:
QBCC – 2018/19 Compliance and Enforcement Strategy
QBCC – 2017 Contractual Obligations, Demerit Points and Bans
QBCC – Defective Work & Disputes
VBA – Compliance & Enforcement
VBA – Performance Audits
NSW – Licence Holder Overview
Non-compliant Site

Non-compliant Site

Compliant Site

Compliant Site

Non-compliant (left) and compliant (right) temporary hydrant works

Non-compliant (left) and compliant (right) temporary hydrant works

Valve Sets & Suction Lines

Valve Sets & Suction Lines

​Clause E1.9 – NCC 2016 Amendment 1​


If you need additional support, please contact the Quality Team

Phone 1300 HUTCHIES

Email QualityTeam@hutchinsonbuilders.com.au

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5 August / Public Holiday

Monday 5 August 2019 (NT only)

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7 July / Observation

Sunday 7 July through to Saturday 13 July 2019

NAIDOC Week is about celebrating Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and achievements and you will see lots of different events and ceremonies around your communities around this.

Some of our offices particularly Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne have had small celebrations to mark the occasion. 

The annual NAIDOC Awards were on last weekend and we’d like to acknowledge the brother of our own Glen Duncan (Indigenous Coordinator – Sydney), Dean Duncan who won the 2019 NAIDOC Person of the Year for the tireless work he does in education (see more here https://www.naidoc.org.au/awards/winner-profiles). Congratulations to the Duncan Family from all of us at Hutchies.

This year’s theme is titled Voice, Treaty, Truth, which were the three elements to come out of the Uluru Statement. Those elements translate to:

  • Voice – we want to be heard; we want be involved in decisions that affect us.
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If you want to know more please visit https://www.naidoc.org.au/get-involved/2019-theme or ask anyone from the Hutchies’ Training team.

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19 July / Public Holiday

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The survey can be completed anonymously, but if you leave your name, you will be in the running to win a Hutchies’ Monopoly set! Winners drawn Thursday 18 July.

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15 July / Meetings

Monday 15 July 2019

Please participate in Monday’s meetings if possible.

8.00am / Site Managers / Foremen / Leading Hands / Apprentices

Held in Toowong training room and video conference from offices via Surface Hubs and Polycoms.

3.00pm / All Project Managers and Contract Administrators

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5.00pm Dumplings and a beer / Brisbane only

It would be great if all could participate.

Remember to mute your line by entering *6 - to unmute, enter #6

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