Reference A sets out the rights and responsibilities of both the member and the Commonwealth of Australia and how they apply to the licence to live-in.
Reference B states that members found responsible for negligent, deliberate or unauthorised fire alarm activation are required to reimburse Defence all of the costs associated with that activation.
B. Base Standing Instructions
The aim of this advice is to provide Base Support Managers (BSM) with a consistent approach in creating awareness of fire and false alarms within LIA via their Base Management Forum (BMF). A number of tools have been included which will assist Resident Units in addressing, in particular, behavioral factors which have been found to influence the number of false alarms occurring.
This advice will cover information on induction, signage, incident reporting, investigation and cost recovery of false alarms. Information in this package is to be viewed as a guide and is otherwise reinforced by long standing Defence policy and guidance which is referenced throughout the associated resources.
The risk of a fire and false alarms in LIA has been raised in all Regions and the risk is assessed as high. There are a number of issues contributing to this risk which are beyond the control of Estate & Infrastructure Group (E&IG) that need to be addressed by Groups and Services to reduce the likelihood of occurrences.
A fire in LIA represents a significant risk to life and property and a false alarm in LIA represents a significant cost to Defence, as a result, immediate action is required.
This advice is to be used by all BSMs who are responsible for conducting Base Management Forums (BMF).
The BMF is deemed to be the appropriate forum in which E&IG can deliver fire safety awareness and resources to resident units who occupy or manage LIA in any capacity throughout Defence. Responsibility by the individual remains the single most important control in minimising false alarm call-out costs to Defence.
There will be occasions where an occupant of LIA is identified as being responsible or partially responsible for damage to Defence property or for causing or contributing to a false fire alarm. In these instances the outcome of an investigation may result in one or more of the following actions as prescribed by the Defence Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN):
a) Revocation of licence to live-in,
b) Recovery of Money from the Member,
c) Administrative sanction or sensure,
d) Disciplinary action under the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982, or
e) Civil legal action or criminal penalties, if the member's conduct also breaches legal or criminal standards of behaviour
The cost of false alarm call-out fees and maintenance of fire detection system components can be
significantly reduced by promoting awareness among facility occupants of their obligations and duty of care
requirements. Use of this resource will assist BSMs to promote an environment of awareness and
accountability of fire alarm use within LIA across the Defence estate.
Promoting effective and sustained appreciation of fire safety within LIA via the BMF is only part of a holistic approach which requires input from all stakeholders - not just E&IG.