VIC – Essential Property Services advises property owners to be concerned about the storage of dangerous goods as non compliance may affect the payout on insurance claims in the event of the building being damaged by fire, and rendering essential safety measures ineffective (essential safety measures are nominated by the building surveyor in a determination/schedule). The Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2000 requires the occupier of a premise where dangerous goods are stored and handled (where quantities exceed those listed) must establish a fire protection system and request the written advice of the emergency services authority.
Some clients (and tenants) are modifying their building (or changing the types or quantities of dangerous goods stored) without requesting the written advice of the emergency services authority in relation to the design of the fire protection system. Increasing the hazard within the use of the building invokes the State’s building regulations and the Building Code of Australia to be applied to this existing building.
It appears a lack of understanding of “C1 combustible liquids in an aggregate quantity of not more than 1000L” which was inserted as a new amendment in the reissued regulations in 2000 is causing concern.
Property owners and managers should regularly ensure tenants are not exceeding the regulation limits specified for dangerous goods and consider a chemical storage audit.
Redress to the courts after a severe financial loss due to a fire is not a good position for the owner to be in, especially when the tenant occupies the building in contravention to a statutory requirement which insurance companies include in their policies.
Building Legislation Table
Fire Safety Compliance: Essential Safety Measures
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