VIC – Essential Property Services advises that under Part 12 of the Building Regulations 2006, it is a requirement for an owner and occupier to maintain certain essential safety measures in a building, regardless of floor area.
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) in clause D2.21, requires compliant door hardware on exit doors, an essential safety measure, 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 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.
In performing essential safety measures inspections in buildings under 200m² it has been found that various issues have arisen which include:
- Exit doors that are stuck or drag on the floor
- Are jammed in the frame
- Are obstructed externally by vehicles or bollards
- Are permanently bolted shut on the external side
- Have unlocking mechanisms that are inoperable or removed
- Have exits that do not lead to open space or to the street
(Note: exit doors are an essential safety measure.)
In order to comply with essential safety measures regulations, these issues need to be addressed by the building owner.
Building Legislation Table
Refer to our Building Legislation table for further information on the building control process.