Difference Between Fire Service Companies
What's the difference between one fire business to another?
Don't all fire companies test to the same fire safety standard AS1851?
The simple answer is that Fire Companies and Fire technicians across Australia test to AS1851. That being said not all fire safety standards fall under AS1851. An example is the AS2293 exit and emergency lighting standard is in a different standard. A lot of people think fire inspections or fire checks are a simple punch the tag with a number and go to the next fire extinguisher.
However, this is far from the case. An experienced fire technician inspecting a fire extinguisher has to take into account the date the building was approved, installation standard AS2444 in talking about fire extinguishers, and then AS1851. Some of these tests or checks are visual and can only be picked up with time performing fire extinguisher services. Like anything in life the more practice the better you are.
Fact: An experienced fire technician should be able to test between 80 to 100 fire extinguishers a day. Of course, this is site-based and travel has to be taken into account.
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Even though the fire companies follow the same standards in Australia, not are all the same.
Over my years I have seen Industry Cowboys and some younger players thinking they know it all. I bless myself lucky that my mentors really pushed the standards hard when I first joined the industry. Every day was a pop quiz on the installation standards of AS1670, then progressed to other standards as we changed job sites.
One of their favourite sayings was 'If you don't know what you are doing how can you expect to be paid your hourly rate'. Personally, I thought it was a bit harsh given that I was an apprentice on less than minimum wage at the time. Now I can tell you years on, that this education was the best for me and I excelled when moved from location to location across the state. Then I really appreciated the long hours applied each weekend and now each Wednesday Night for a brush-up. I'm also lucky that I now train our FCF Field Techs each month.
Anyway, back to the differences
What I've seen fire company owners do wrong and it's normally the client that suffers the consequences.
Common Fire Company Mistakes
- Fire Service Provider Overcharging
- Fire Technician not showing up to the site
- Missed fire inspections
- Misleading clients for capital gains
These are just some of the poor behaviour I've seen by providers. Worse still are the fire technicians who just do the wrong thing. Filling out paperwork in the car and not even testing the site, claiming a fire detection fault requires a whole new fire system and sitting on their bums in a lunch room claiming time all afternoon instead of working. I have seen worse and defiantly have had clients at the start of contracts point these issues out.
So let's move on to the good fire service providers
These are normally the people who receive a great review each week however consistently, do the right thing by clients do every time.
Being in the fire industry is hard as we have to stick to standards and normally the client just wants to keep the costs down.
It's a juggling act to meet the standards every single time and educate our clients on the outcome needed.
Just remember the fire standards in Australia are the bare minimum you should do. Doing more is highly recommended. Normally we only see people doing more when they have been in a fire event.
So what do the good people do differently?
- Introduce themselves that they are on site
- Don't interrupt the business operations
- Test to the Australian Standards
- Look for solutions to failures
- Advise the client of the outcome
- Report the results
- Gain approval for repairs
- Complete the repairs with the best-suited equipment
- Update the reports
- Leave site after advising the responsible personal
Sounds so simple, doesn't it?
Surprising that not all fire companies do this.
Training can't be a one-off asset at the beginning of a career in the fire industry, constant training of high-level people is really what makes the difference between fire companies.
As a leader of one of these companies and believe me, there are only a few of us with hands-on experience and the right team to perform this work correctly every time. Training is not an option at FCF, we only want the best of the best.
If you feel like your current fire safety provider is taking advantage of or pulling your leg FCF offers free site audits. No obligation at all to commit to FCF, just ensure that you have a reliable provider that delivers the fire safety requirements you need to comply with.
Go Team FCF Fire & Electrical
Useful links for your business;
Fire Training Online/ VR or Class Room visit - https://firetrainingonline.fcfnational.com.au/
Evacuation Diagrams from $25 visit - https://fireevacdiagrams.fcfnational.com.au/
Find a local owner-operator near you - Mackay, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne, Adelaide, Tasmania plus more check out www.fcfnational.com.au
Electrical Contractor- Fire Certifier- Diploma in Franchising- CEO of FCF
Jacob Foster has over 15 years' experience as a Fire Professional and even longer as an electrician. Starting FCF in 2008 at the beginning of the GFC Jacob has seen tough times for clients and focused on delivering affordable fire protection services to meet state legislation. Going to help families start their own business and continue to train all fire technicians across various levels to meet the FCF Standard. With International awards and local recognition FCF is an Industry Leader, find out more at https://www.firesafetyfranchise.com.au/how-fcf-started.html