Does South Australia regulate for maintenance and why?

Yes there is a regulation to maintain the Essential Safety Provisions within a building and this is outlined in Regulation 76 of the Development Regulations as well as appropriate standards.  Maintenance to the Essential Safety Provisions has been regulated since 1977 to ensure ongoing safety for occupants of buildings.

What items are regulated for maintenance?

Essential Safety Provisions are defined in Schedule 1 of the Development Regulations and includes any safety systems, equipment or other provisions defined as such, or required to be installed in a building. Furthermore Section I of the BCA contains a full list of Essential Safety Provisions requiring maintenance within a building.

What type of buildings is this applied to?

Regulations and annual certification of Essential Safety Provisions is applied to Class 2 to 9 buildings except for Class 2 buildings less than 4 storeys and not exceeding 200m2 in floor area and Class 3 to 8 buildings less than 3 storeys and not exceeding 500m2 in floor area are exempt. This is unless council deems otherwise through condition on approval or as an outcome of a S71 notice.

What is the frequency of maintenance to be adopted for the Essential Safety Provisions in my building?

The frequency of maintenance of Essential Safety Provisions varies in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards at approval as per Minister’s Specification SA76. How do I maintain the Essential Safety Provisions in my building? Is this regulated? In South Australia the maintenance of Essential Safety Provisions is regulated as the both the Development Regulations and the National Construction Code reference the Minister’s Specification SA76. Maintenance is regulated via the deemed to satisfy provisions of the National Construction Code and prescribed under the Development Regulations. Both of these reference Minister’s Specification SA76 which references relevant Australian Standards for inspection and testing regimes of Essential Safety Provisions.

What is the regulatory approach in South Australia?

In South Australia schedule items are to be maintained at the approval stage, installation standards certified prior to occupation of the building by the installer and the certification of maintenance of installed items to be supplied annually. Maintenance and testing regime is to be adopted as per Minister’s Specification SA76 and relevant Australian Standards as listed at approval.

Are the maintenance requirements the same for new and existing buildings?

No as some existing building that were constructed pre 1994 may still fall under Part 59 of the repealed Building Act. Maintenance must be recorded in a logbook which must be made available for inspection at any time by the fire authority or council. All new buildings will fall under the Minister’s Specifications SA76.

What are the triggers to apply these provisions to existing buildings?

There are no triggers as such. The requirements apply at all times.

Are there administrative controls for the maintenance of Essential Safety Provisions and who is responsible for building maintenance?

Yes there are administrative controls for maintenance in South Australia and this is through the Development Regulations 76. The responsibility for ensuring that maintenance is carried out to a building rests with the building owner.

How often is verification required and who do I provide verification too? 

The owner of a building has the responsibility to ensure that all Essential Safety Provisions are being properly maintained and tested and to provide annual certification (Form 3 of Schedule 16) under Regulation 76 (5) & (6). The document is to be developed annually and submitted to the local council each year.

Who can provide verification and are Practitioners required to be certified?

Verification can be provided by the building owner or an agent of the owner and no, currently they do not have to be licensed or have certified qualifications.

What does verification consist of?

Verification consists of submitting a form certifying that maintenance and testing has been carried out in respect to the Essential Safety Provisions of the building for the relevant year in accordance with the maintenance requirements.

Are there prescribed statutory measures and can these measures be added to or subtracted from?
Yes there are statutory measures outlined in the Development Regulations 76. Council or private certifier can tailor a list of items to be maintained to suit each specific case as selected from Minister’s Specification SA76 or as appropriate for alternative solutions.
Who is responsible for monitoring and enforcing maintenance?

The building owner is responsible for compliance of the Essential Safety Provisions within a building. However, a lack of return or submission of a Form 3 may trigger a need for inspection by the local council, Building Fire Safety Committee or it may be a trigger for revoking a certificate of occupancy under Development Regulations 83 (9) (c).

What is the role of other bodies and authorities eg fire brigades, state and local governments?

Fire authorities are represented on Local Government Building Fire Safety Committees. The Local Government has a duty to monitor the safety of buildings within these areas.

What penalty provisions can be enforced if my building does not comply?

If your building does not comply with the Development Regulations then a possible s71 infringement notice from a Building Fire Safety Committee may be issued to rectify any problems or non-compliances. This will include a Division 5 fine and default penalty of $50 for failure to comply with the notice. It may also be a trigger for revoking a certificate of occupancy under Development Regulations 83 (9) (c).If a Certificate of Occupancy is revoked and the building is occupied without one it is an offence with a maximum penalty of $10,000

Who is empowered to serve and enforce non-compliance notices and actions?

A local government Building Fire Safety Committee if unsafe or the local council for illegal occupation of the building.

Are there any standardized processes or forms associated?

Yes. Development Regulations Schedule 16 Forms 1, 2 and 3.

Once an order or notice has been issued are there any appeal provisions in relation to the compliance, enforcement and penalty requirements? 

Yes against a s71 notice but this must be commenced within 14 days or longer with consent of the court.