Hot smoke testing is conducted in order to verify the functionality of a smoke management (exhaust) system within a building.  In particular, it confirms the appropriate and necessary integration and operation of various building systems to control and minimise smoke spread when a building’s fire detection and alarm system is activated.  These tests are conducted generally in accordance with Australian Standard 4391.

Hot smoke testing uses live fire and synthetic smoke to simulate a small fire event, which aids in visualising air and smoke movement within a building.  The synthetic smoke used is non-toxic, however a residue may be deposited on surfaces within the space or a faint odour remain after the test.  Because of this and the use of live fire, the MFS strongly advises that hot smoke tests be conducted prior to the stocking of buildings or tenancies.  Where this is not possible (for example, due to the test occurring in an existing building), then for safety reasons additional MFS personnel including a firefighting crew and appliance will be required to attend and charged for accordingly.  This will also place limitations on available days and times at which a test can be conducted.

Where a hot smoke test is required for a building that is already occupied, such as an existing shopping centre, the tests must be conducted after hours when the building is unoccupied.

A pre-test inspection by the MFS may be required in order to determine testing locations and the equipment required prior to a test date and time being confirmed.  The relevant Officer will make contact to arrange this.

For safety reasons, a hot smoke test will not occur until all required fire safety systems have been installed and their correct operation confirmed through successful functionality testing by the MFS Water and Alarms Officers.

To request a hot smoke test be conducted by the MFS Built Environment Section (BES), please complete the Hot Smoke Test Application Form. Once submitted, a BES Officer will be in contact to arrange the booking and will provide formal confirmation and details of testing and equipment requirements.

Hot Smoke Test Application Form