VIC Hendry advises property professionals to make themselves aware of recent changes to the Building Regulations 2006 (May 2016) that allow the adoption of AS1851-2012 Routine service of fire protection systems and equipment. Managers need to acquaint themselves with the new process and other factors when changing over a building’s nominated Essential Safety Measure (ESM) maintenance regime to the AS1851-2012 standard.
In Victoria, buildings or parts thereof, are categorised into two sections under the Building Regulations as either Subdivision 1 or Subdivision 2 buildings.
/ SUBDIVISION 1 BUILDINGS
Buildings constructed or altered after July 1994 fall within the Subdivision 1 category. This category identifies the ESMs contained in the building via an Occupancy Permit (OP) or Maintenance Determination (a list attached to the Certificate of Final Inspection (CoFI)). The frequency and maintenance standard for each ESM must be listed on these two statutory documents issued by the relevant building surveyor when the building is suitable for occupation.
The new amendment to the Building Regulations, Regulation 1205A, allows the maintenance of an ESM that is listed as a condition of an existing OP or Maintenance Determination to be maintained in accordance with Regulation AS1851-2012, without the need to obtain a building permit.
Hendry advises managers to obtain written consent from the owner of the building for the following:
- To adopt and continue to apply the maintenance standard and frequency nominated by AS1851- 2012, for the relevant ESM.
- Include a ‘new statement’ in the Annual Essential Safety Measures Report (AESMR) stating that maintenance will now comply with AS1851-2012 (specifying the ESMs concerned).
/ SUBDIVISION 2 BUILDINGS
Buildings having a Subdivision 2 status are buildings constructed prior to July 1994. Managers must ensure that ESMs are maintained to fulfill their purpose. This requirement remains unchanged and the owner can adopt any maintenance standard applicable however for best practice, a good benchmark is AS1851-2012.
/ ANNUAL ESSENTIAL SAFETY MEASURES REPORT
Managers must also be aware that both Subdivision 1 and Subdivision 2 buildings require an AESMR to be signed and issued each year. Adopting AS1851- 2012 (which reduces ESM maintenance costs) via the AESMR also is a legal reminder for owners of Subdivision 1 buildings that egress inspections and passive inspections are also required each year as stated in the Maintenance Determination forming part of the OP or CoFI.