Airservices Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting service (ARFF) provides a range of services at 26 airports around Australia. ARFF Services Aviation Fire Fighters are ready to respond to fires in aircraft and buildings at airports, provide rescue and first-aid services for aircraft passengers and crew, provide technical advice on fire safety and assist in educating users about fire fighting and safety. Our fire fighters have access to a fleet of modern, well equipped and maintained vehicles. When connected to our service, your facility is monitored by our fire fighters who will respond when a fire alarm is activated.
For Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports this is a 24 hour, 7 days a week service. At other airports, fire alarms that occur out of operating hours will be still monitored by ARFF with a response provided by the local fire services.
Automatic fire alarm equipment installed at our fire stations has recently been updated. The Fire Control Centre upgrade program supplied state-of-the-art digital systems that will interface with the latest fire alarm monitoring infrastructure. The new FCC system works in conjunction with the alarm monitoring system FIREMON providing a more effective monitoring capability nationally.
Please refer to the Application Kit below.
*This includes the application for a new service, alteration of service or removal of service.
- Information bulletin – Connection Guidelines
- Fire Alarm Signalling Equipment Installation Checklist
- Romteck Accredited Installers
Frequently Asked Questions
Who monitors my fire alarm system?
Airservices Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting service (ARFF) provides a range of services at 26 of Australia’s busiest airports. We are ready to respond to aircraft and building fires at airports and provide rescue and first-aid services for aircraft passengers and crew. Our fleet of fire vehicles are well equipped and maintained for effective and rapid emergency intervention. When connected to our service, your facility is protected by trained and well-equipped professional fire fighters.
For Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Townsville airports this is a 24 hour, 7 days a week service. At other airports, fire alarms that occur out of operating hours will be still monitored by ARFF with a response provided by the local fire services.
How does my fire alarm system work?
Fire alarm systems can consist of a number of components including smoke detectors, heat detectors, manual call points, sprinkler systems and a signalling device. All parts of the detection system connect to the Fire Indicator Panel (FIP).
In the event of a fire alarm, the FIP will sound an alert and indicate the location of the detector(s) that has activated. At the same time, the Alarm Signalling Equipment (ASE) pictured below, will automatically send a notification to the fire service
What standard must my system comply with?
The Alarm Signalling Equipment (ASE) is connected to a fire alarm network which conforms to the Australian Standards for Fire Alarm Monitoring (AS4418.2 and AS1670.3). The ASE also complies with the requirement of AS4428.6, for Alarm Signalling Equipment.
The Romteck ASE has a built-in modem for connection to an ordinary telephone line. The installation of a telephone line is required for standard compliance. The telephone line serves as a backup (secondary link) to the NextG (or primary) connection.
The backup fire line dials daily to a “1300” number as a test dial to ensure the line is permanently connected. In case of a failure of the NextG service, the backup fire line will dial the 1300 number again to make sure at least one link is available.
The telephone line must be a dedicated fire line, used only for Fire Alarm Monitoring purposes, because it will detect the loss of the line each time it is used for other purpose, and report this as a PSTN fault.
What if I can’t install a telephone line for the backup connection? Can I use an alternative?
You may be able to use an alternative to PSTN as the secondary communications path in the following circumstances:
- the customer can demonstrate to Airservices that use of PSTN is impractical or not possible
- the customer must meet any specific requirements for the alternative secondary path
- the secondary communications path must either be:
- GSM Dial-Up, in which case the customer must ensure the ASE and/or an external antenna is positioned so as to provide adequate GSM signal strength; or
- Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).
The VOIP system:
- must be compatible with transmission of data via the V.22bis protocol
- must not use common equipment/infrastructure with the primary communications path
- connection via the VOIP system must be thoroughly tested by the customer.
While these secondary communications paths for ASEs are compatible with Airservices’ Fire Alarm Monitoring System, Airservices takes no responsibility in ensuring they meet or exceed the requirements set out in the Standard. In addition, please note the following:
The customer must assume all responsibility for meeting the communications reliability requirements detailed in the Standard. This includes the possibility of alarms not being received and responded to due to communications network unavailability or faults with customer owned equipment.
In the event that Airservices notifies the customer that the communications connections to the customer’s ASE do not meet the reliability requirements detailed in the Standard, the customer will take appropriate action to promptly rectify this.
What should I do if a fire alarm activates on my system?
Building evacuation & fire plans including fire warden and extinguisher training processes are to be developed by managers and adopted by staff and occupants in the event of an emergency. In such an event, it is the responsibility of the owner/occupier to ensure that building evacuation plan is implemented.
As a part of these evacuation plans, wardens and trained staff members may (if safe to do so and as a part of the fire plan):
- Attend the fire indicator panel (DO NOT reset the panel)
- Determine the location of the fire alarm activation,
- Investigate the cause of the fire alarm if safe to do so,
- Search the area,
- Evacuate the area
- Provide the ARFF officer (upon arrival, or en-route) with a situation report about the alarm activation status
What should I do if there is a fault in my system?
A fire detection system fault (fault) is usually caused by a problem with the electrical wiring or the failure of a detector or communications path.
Unlike a fire alarm, and if the detection system is operating normally, a fault is not caused by smoke or heat.
If your system has a fault, you may be issued with a fault/defect notice and/or contacted by ARFF.
In the event that your fire alarm system has a fault
- The FIP may emit an audible warning and display the words “fault” or similar
Contact your fire alarm service technician immediately.
Note: ARFF will not respond to a fault.
How do I prevent accidental alarm activation when site work is conducted?
Some worker/occupier activities are likely to cause false alarms. Some of these activities include, but are not limited to:
- Work carried out on air conditioning units; renovations
- Electrical work
- Any work which may cause excessive dust and/or smoke.
When you are expecting site work to be carried out which may cause unwanted alarms, an authorised person should isolate the ASE by either using the isolate key, or contacting your fire alarm service technician. You must also notify the fire station by telephone prior to isolating the ASE. Note, isolating the ASE will prevent the fire station from being able to monitor your fire alarm system. It is very important to ‘de-isolate’ the ASE once works have concluded to restore your fire alarm monitoring service.
How do I reduce false alarms and faults in my system?
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the amount of false alarms and faults occurring with your fire alarm system.
Regular maintenance is very important and should be conducted by your fire service technician who is trained to maintain and record your system against the relevant Australian Standard.
False alarms are often caused by activities carried out near detectors such as burning toast or building renovations/works. False alarms and faults can be reduced by changing location, type of detector or both. The sensitivity of detectors can deteriorate over time. The older the detector the greater the chance of a systems fault occurring.
Contact your fire service technician for advice on detectors that are best suited.
Reducing false alarms will save YOU and the fire service money, will reduce wasted efforts and may save lives.
A fault compromises the effectiveness of your fire alarm system and, in some cases may incur a fine. Correctly operating fire alarm systems are an intrinsic part of preventing unnecessary loss of life within the community. This includes responsibility for not only the events occurring in a particular building, but additionally, responsibility for relative duty of care associated with managing events generated as a result of the fire alarm activation.
What is a false alarm?
A false alarm is defined as a fire alarm activation where the attending fire service finds no sign of fire at the relevant premises.
False alarms initiated from fire alarm systems account for more than one third of all calls received by fire services throughout Australia. Many false alarms are due to a lack of maintenance and poor management of fire alarm systems.
False alarms divert the fire service away from its primary role of preventing fires and attending real emergencies and impose significant cost through disruption to work and business continuity.
Will I be charged for false alarms?
In some cases, you may be charged for a false alarm. A ‘chargeable false alarm’ is the activation of a fire alarm through;
- Error in installation, mechanical, electrical or other associated equipment failure
- Lack of proper maintenance of the fire alarm system
- Intentional activation during a non-emergency situation
- Negligence of the building owner, occupants, employees or other agents that causes a fire alarm to be activated
False alarm charges are fines intended to encourage customers to maintain their fire alarm. Properly maintained fire alarm systems ensure the safety of occupants, property and the environment.
Can I dispute a false alarm charge?
If you receive a ‘Notice of Intention to Charge – False Alarm Callout’ and do not agree with the notice, you may contact Airservices in writing in accordance with the Chargeable False Alarm Guidelines.
You must submit the False Alarm Charging Reversal Form within 15 business days of the date of the Notice. Airservices will make a determination based on the information provided within 10 business days of receiving the document.
I have received an ‘Automatic Fire Alarm Fault / Defect Notice’. What should I do?
An ‘Automatic Fire Alarm Fault / Defect Notice’ will be emailed or in some cases faxed by the fire station if a fault or defect has been detected in your fire alarm system. The section of your fire alarm equipment described in the notice may no longer be monitored by the ARFF due to a fault / defect condition.
Responsibility rests with the owner / occupier to rectify the fault / defect. Your fire alarm service technician may assist you with resolution. On rectification, the fire station must be notified by completing the relevant sections of the notice and returning to ARFF.
**All faults need to be resolved ASAP or within a maximum time of 14 working days**