Essential Safety measures are central to ensuring a safe and healthy built environment. Their maintenance is vital for the life, safety and health of occupants over a building’s lifetime.
The installation and maintenance of essential safety measures applies to Class 1b, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 buildings as defined in the National Construction Code, (NCC), Building Code of Australia (BCA). See link for definition.
An essential safety measure is defined under the Building Regulations 2018 (the Regs) as an item listed in Victorian Building Authority Practice Note No 23/2018. This may include, (but not limited too) safety systems such as:
- Exit doors
- Emergency lighting
- Exit signs
- Fire extinguishers
- Path of travel to exits
- Emergency power supply
- Fire hydrants
- Smoke alarms
- Portable fire extinguishers
- Mechanical ventilation
- Fire rated materials.
The Building Regulations 2018, require the owner to ensure that all installed Safety Measures are inspected on a regular basis, maintained to the level at which they were installed or to the level specified by the Relevant Building Surveyor and to provide an annual essential safety measures statement.
The maintenance of essential safety measures involves:
- Ensuring the service is maintained at a level of performance specified by the relevant building surveyor (RBS), usually to the BCA or an Australian Standard
- Periodical inspections and checks in accordance with an Australian Standard or other specified method
- Maintaining a record of the maintenance inspections and checks in the form of an annual “Essential Safety Measures” report.