AUST – Building owners and their representatives should make themselves aware of the latest developments by service providers in their presentation of fee quotations for passive and egress essential safety measure inspections. Hendry is noticing that a number of providers of these services are reducing fees significantly for building owners by the insertion of a couple of words in their scope / quote or quote acceptance form.

Building legislation across Australia is specific for existing buildings relative to the required maintenance and inspection process for essential safety measures. The regulations obligate the owner (and occupier in the some states) to ensure full compliance with the regulations as well as the requirement for signing an ‘Annual Fire Safety Statement’.

A number of providers in this area are nominating and performing random inspections only, ie every 3, 4 or 5th floor and / or only doing part of the floor. The defects list received by the building owner is significantly reduced, thus less work to follow up on defects.

If this type of service is condoned by the building owner or their representative then it can have significant implications if a major incident occurs in the building for insurance payouts and subsequent authority investigations. Especially by accepting this offer (accepting a quotation where fees are obviously insufficient to provide the minimum standard specified under the regulations) the owner has knowingly agreed to appoint a provider who can’t comply with the minimum standards specified in the regulations and statutory documents issued by a building surveyor.