Overview – Essential Safety Measures

In Victoria the fire safety systems installed within buildings are called Essential Safety Measures and are an integral part of the life and safety of occupants within commercial and public buildings in the event of an emergency or fire. Maintenance is regulated to ensure life safety of occupants with health of occupants also regulated through other legislation.

In Victoria, the regulatory requirements for maintenance of these Essential Safety Measures have been outlined in the Building Regulations since 1945 and revised at various times. The most recent being the Building Regulations 2006 with Part 12 of the Regulations being in conjunction with Part I1.1 to I1.13 of the National Construction Code. Part I of the National Construction Code lists the items that are required to be maintained in order to achieve life safety within a building.

Essential Safety Measures maintenance is only applied to buildings of Class 1b – 9 as outlined within Part A3.2 of the National Construction Code. This is irrespective of the size or age of the building. The frequency of maintenance of Essential Safety Measures is required to be identified by a relevant building surveyor by the use of Occupancy Permits or Maintenance Determinations. This is generally via Australian Standards with AS1851 being predominant however, can be varied if the relevant building surveyor feels it necessary.

Essential Safety Measures – buildings built after 1 July 1994

All buildings subject to Essential Safety Measures and built after 1st July 1994 are subject to an Occupancy Permit and must have an Annual Essential Safety Measures Report (AESMR) prepared each year. The anniversary date of the AESMR will be that of the date of issue of the Occupancy Permit.

Essential Safety Measures – building built before 1 July 1994

For buildings built before 1st July 1994, such documentation such as Occupancy Permits may not exist. However, Essential Safety Measures are still installed within these buildings and have the requirement to be maintained.

From 14th June 2009, the Building Regulations 2006 has outlined that Annual Essential Safety Measures Reports must be prepared for all buildings young and old. As an Occupancy Permit may not have been issued the owner of a building will need to engage the services of a competent specialist to identify the Essential Safety Measures within the building and then issue a Maintenance Determination which will outline the Essential Safety Measures installed and the relevant frequency of maintenance for each Measure.

Essential Safety Measures

Essential Safety Measures