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When the construction of a building is complete, the building owner is responsible for its upkeep and maintenance, particularly its safety features and essential safety measures.
The maintenance of essential safety measures will ensure that the safety systems dealing with predominantly fire situations within the building remain at the required operational level throughout the life of the building. The type of maintenance depends on the complexity of the safety measure equipment.
For buildings constructed or altered since 1 July 1994, the relevant building surveyor at the end of the works would have issued you with an occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection which lists the:
Councils have a responsibility under building legislation for the enforcement of building safety within their municipality. Building owners have an obligation to ensure that an essential safety measure, piece of safety equipment, fitting or other safety measure is maintained so that it operates satisfactorily.
Please take the time to watch this three minute video on Roscon's Annual Essential Safety Measures Reports.
An essential safety measure is defined under the Building Regulations 2006 (the Regulations) as an item listed in Tables I1.1 to I1.11 of Volume One of the National Construction Code, except the item in Table I1.4 relating to artificial lighting.
This may include safety systems such as:
If your building was built before 1 July 1994, you are required to prepare an annual essential safety measures report. You are responsible for ensuring that any safety equipment, safety fittings or safety measures are maintained and fulfilling their purpose. This includes exits and paths of travel to exits.
It is also advised that you keep records of maintenance checks, safety measure and repair work be kept so a municipal building surveyor or chief officer of the fire brigade can inspect them. These documents must be made available to the municipal building surveyor or the chief fire officer within 24 hours of notification.
And remember, if building work is carried out, these circumstances may change, so it is worth checking with a building surveyor to see what you need to do to comply with the Regulations.
If your building was constructed or altered after 1 July 1994, the list of essential safety measures, including their performance level, frequency and type of maintenance required would be included with your occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.
You are required to prepare an annual essential safety measures report on the buildings essential safety measures. You may choose to engage specialist maintenance contractors to assist in the preparation of the report. Owners are required to:
Display all current occupancy permits. This document can be framed, placed in a sealed, transparent or glass covered notice board or for multiple pages, the pages may be laminated so they can be suspended or fixed to the building
By meeting these requirements you as the owner or the owners managing agent will have greater knowledge of the safety of your building.
All buildings other than a house or outbuilding are affected. These include the following Classes as defined in the National Construction Code:
The municipal building surveyor or chief fire officer of the relevant fire brigrade is responsible for the enforcement of these regulations.
Non-compliance may result in an infringement notice issued by Council or the Fire Brigade up to $1,000. Furthermore, non compliance may result in prosecution in which a fine may be imposed of $10,000 for an individual or $50,000 for companies for each breach of the Regulations. More importantly, non-compliance could place not only building occupants at risk but also those of passers-by and the occupants of adjoining buildings.
Adequate maintenance is the best means of ensuring that fire safety systems will operate reliably if an emergency arises.
Below are some Annual Essential Safety Measures Report samples: