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Indoor areas design and maintenance guidelines for contractors

Guidelines for contractors designing or maintaining indoor areas at SA government schools and preschools.

Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers must be provided to all education facilities in line with all relevant legislative and regulatory requirements.

All new extinguishers must be enclosed within a heavy duty plastic bag. Bags are purchased with the extinguishers.

Types of extinguishers

The type of fire extinguisher should be appropriate to the surrounding area. If special purpose fire extinguishers are required, they must be provided as per the Australian standard. For example areas containing electrical equipment should contain class E extinguishers. 

Generally fire extinguishers must be ABE dry chemical powder of nominal 4.5 kg capacity with associated signage.

The fire extinguisher safety pin must be a 100mm extended travel type. The pin is to be inserted so that it can only be removed once the extinguisher is removed from its mounting and the plastic bag.

Location of extinguishers

Extinguishers must be located in occupied spaces (eg general learning areas) rather than corridors.

Fire extinguishers must be mounted in accordance with the Australian standard.

Refer to the design standards (PDF 1.1MB) for additional information.


Natural lighting should be used wherever possible, and complimented by artificial lighting when necessary.

Sites should minimise their energy usage by using energy efficient lights.

All internal light fixtures should be surface mounted and as efficient as possible.

Types of lighting

All lighting must be specified in accordance with AS 1680 Interior Lighting.

In rooms which are dedicated to the use of computers the lighting must be in accordance with AS/NZS 1680.2.2:2008 – interior and workplace lighting – specific applications – office and screen-based tasks.

Lighting levels (lux) are not to exceed best practice illuminance as defined in AS 1680 by more than 25%. In activity halls and gymnasiums luminaires must provide a minimum of 320 lux, be mounted at maximum height, and be of impact resistant construction with shatterproof diffusers. High bay LED impact resistant fittings are preferred.

LED lighting with a colour rendering index greater than 80 must be used for all internal areas. In spaces dedicated to colour sensitive activities (art, graphic design) LED lighting with a high colour rendering index greater than 90 is recommended.

The colour temperature (CCT) of LED lighting in learning areas, offices and work areas must be 4000K. A CCT of 3000K is acceptable in reception, staff rooms, performance, presentation, gymnasiums, library, breakout and withdrawal areas. 5000K is acceptable in outdoor sports applications.

Glare from lights is to be reduced through the use of diffusers and appropriate lighting designs. Glare in standard learning environments is to aim for a unified glare rating (UGR) of less than 19. For speciality or technical learning environments such as senior art and engineering aim for a UGR of less than 16.

Light sensitive learning environments and learning environments that provide specialist support facilities for children or young people with a disability or special needs are to have dimmable LEDs with a push button or rotary dimmer mechanism.

Where existing fittings are being retrofitted with LED lighting, LED tubes must be Australian standards approved and be opaque.

Refer to the guidelines for the safe use of machinery (PDF 3.4MB) for lighting requirements above machinery.

Light placement

Light fixtures must not be located above ceiling sweep fans to avoid strobing effects.

LED lighting may be located above 2700mm above floor level and recessed due to the expected life and maintenance requirements of LEDs.

Light fixtures in general facilities (learning areas an administration areas) must be standard recessed fittings in T-bar ceilings or surface mounted fittings in flush ceilings.

Light fixtures in design and technology workshops must be mounted at the highest level possible. Suspended luminaires must be rod fixed (solid or threaded rod) and have gimbal galleries at the ceiling line to permit inadvertent movement. Minimum rod size is 8mm.

Stainless steel (multi-strand) levelling wire is only acceptable if rod suspension is not practical. Provide minimum 4 wires and 4 individual anchor points in a rectangular arrangement at least 100mm apart at the luminaire and running up parallel to the ceiling. Where narrow bodied luminaires (less than 100mm wide) are chosen, suspension systems must be solid or threaded rod.

Provide seismic restraint safety wires to comply with AS 1170.4 part 8 to all luminaires.

Light fittings installed above 4000mm above floor level must be changed using an elevated working platform. Where new lights are to be installed above 4000mm the requirements for access and maintenance must be clearly communicated and agreed to by the site leader and documented in the safety in design (SiD) register.

Refer to the design standards (PDF 1.1MB) for additional information. 

Asset Standards and Environmental Management

For enquiries regarding standards 

Phone: 8226 0091 

Email: education.standards [at] sa.gov.au  


For enquiries regarding sustainable infrastructure 

Phone: 8226 3497 

Email: education.environment [at] sa.gov.au