ESM-10

Essential Safety Measures Requirements for Buildings under 200m²

VIC  Hendry advises that the Building Code of Australia (BCA) in clause D2.21, requires compliant door hardware on exit doors, (essential safety measures), is deregulated in a building that is less than 200m² in floor area and is occupied by one entity to the exclusion of any other person (except in class 9 public building). That is, a key locking mechanism on the exit door is permitted in a single tenancy under 200m² in floor area.  As a result, there is a general misconception that essential safety measures maintenance need not occur on the exit doors or exit paths in these tenancies or buildings, and that this situation extends to the whole building.

The general requirement for the maintenance of exit doors is to verify and test that the door is intact, operates as required, and has no obstructions or alterations affecting its function. Just because the door is allowed to be locked, does not preclude the requirement for the door to operate and open when used for building egress.

In performing the egress essential safety measures inspections in buildings under 200m² it has been found that various issues relating to exit doors have arisen in which the building assessor will examine:

  • Are exit doors that are stuck or drag on the floor?
  • Are they jammed in the frame?
  • Are they obstructed externally by vehicles or bollards?
  • Are doors permanently bolted shut on the external side?
  • Do they have unlocking mechanisms that are inoperable or removed?
  • Have exits that do not lead to open space or to the street?

(Note: Exits/doors are essential safety measures.)

In order to comply with essential safety measures regulations, these issues need to be addressed by the building owner for building compliance.

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