Fire design

What Are The Fire Design Requirements For Farm Sheds In Victoria?

In the past, fire design requirements for farm sheds was a vague and confusing topic, however, over the last year or two, the Victorian Building Authority made several changes to the building code that have made fire regulations a lot clearer.

Under the revised building code there are two classifications for structures built on ‘Farming Zone’ land; a “Farm Shed” and a “Farm Building”.

 Farm Shed

 “Farm Shed”: a single storey building located on land primarily used for farming, that is:

  • used in connection with farming
  • is between 500m2 – 2,000m2 in floor area
  • is not occupied by any more than 2 persons at any one time, and not for extended periods of time.

Hay shedsmachinery storage sheds and smaller scale grain sheds are all examples of “Farm Sheds”.

For a “Farm Shed” to meet fire regulations, the below requirements need to be satisfied:

  • One 4A 60B(E) Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher of 4.5kg or more in weight, per 500m2 e.g. a 1,200m2 shed would require three of the above extinguishers.
  • When fitting the extinguishers, the top of the fire extinguisher must be no more than 1.2m but no less than 100mm from the ground.
  • Fire extinguisher signage is required and this must be a minimum of 2m from the ground, positioned directly above the fire extinguisher.

Farm Building

Farm Building”: a building located on land primarily used for farming, that is:

  • used in connection with farming
  • In which the total number of persons accommodated at any one time does not exceed one person per 200m2 of floor area, up to a maximum of 8 persons.
  • with a total floor area of not more than 3,500m2

Workshops, dairy’s, shearing sheds and larger-scale hay sheds (over 2,000m2) are all examples of “Farm Buildings”.

Fire design

For a “Farm Building” to meet fire regulations, the below requirements need to be satisfied:

  • Must be located within 60m (and not more than 90m from any part of the building) of a water supply with a minimum capacity of 144,000L. This water supply could include:
    • Water storage tank/s (with approved CFA fittings)
    • Dam
    • Reservoir
    • River
    • Lake
    • Bore
    • Sea

The water supply must be located to allow emergency service vehicles to get within 4m of the source.

  • A 4A 60B(E) Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher of 4.5kg or more in weight (and signage) must also be installed adjacent to every exit door.
  • One 5ABE Fire Extinguisher of 4.5kg or more in weight (and signage) must also be installed in any room containing flammable liquid or electrical equipment

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