AUST – HENDRY building surveyors advise that a building owner can have a false sense of security after an Insurance assessor has visited a building and provided a report/ building audit for the renewal of a building’s insurance policy. We have viewed ‘mini reports’ (purported to pass as a BCA audit) that include recommendations for minor remedial works to be performed for continuance of a policy, whilst a proper building audit/ BCA audit and essential safety measures audit on these buildings has revealed items of such magnitude that they required the building owner to immediately engage consultants and contractors to safeguard their interests, and mitigate risk.
A ‘gloss over’ building report/ building audit should definitely not give an building owner or tenant any comfort that their building meets minimal standards for Building Code of Australia (BCA) or essential safety measures compliance and they should not assume it is an endorsement by the insurance company that the building satisfactorily complies with the fire safety and egress provisions of the Building Regulations, Essential Safety Measure Regulations, or the BCA generally.
Sometimes building owners contribute to their own downfall by not heeding the advice of their property manager, facility manager or consultants, and unfortunately these building owners represent a significant number of the overall total. In other situations the building owner ‘assumes’ all risks are minimised because of the people employed, the processes instigated and the regular signing of annual fire safety statement or essential safety statements/reports , only to find out the true extent of their risk exposure and accountability after an incident.
The cost of a BCA audit, Building Audit, Due Diligence Audit or even an essential safety measures audit for the building owner of a building does not even rate compared to the cost of remedied works or civil action payments to be instigated after an incident or fire where the insurance companies denies a claim for non compliance/ non performance of required statutory duties by the building owner or his agents.
Building Legislation Table
Refer to our Building Legislation table for further information on the building control process.
Fire Safety Compliance: Essential Safety Measures