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VIC – Essential Property Services advises that building owners and tenants are governed by the essential safety measures provisions contained in the Building Regulations 2006, these provisions including the signing each year of the annual essential safety measures report (AESMR) in many cases pass unnoticed. Few building owners and occupiers are aware of the obligations that have been enacted in June 2009 on building owners, namely that all buildings old and new will require the owner to sign an ‘annual essential safety measures report’ for the previous 12 months every year.

All buildings (except houses) will require the AESMR every 12 months, starting in June 2009, for the proceeding 12 months, regardless of when it was built stating that all essential safety measures have been inspected and are functioning.

Who Mandates Essential Safety Measures?

When a building is constructed or altered, upon completion of the building works, the building surveyor will either issue an Occupancy Permit or a Certificate of Final Inspection. Both of these documents will contain a list of essential safety measures.

Where do Essential Safety Measures Come From?

The Building Regulations 2006 in Part 12 nominate TableI1.1 to I1.11 of Volume 1 (Commercial Buildings) of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) as the essential safety measures applicable for all buildings except for artificial lighting. Also included are mechanical ventilation systems, items specified in alternative solutions by the building surveyor and items nominated under previous regulations.

What are Essential Safety Measures?

Essential safety measures can either be active or passive, examples of active systems are sprinkler systems, emergency lighting, mechanical ventilation and smoke alarm systems. Examples of passive systems are fire resisting materials, fire windows, paths of travel to an exit and fire isolated stairs.

Building Regulations 2006, Part 12 Maintenance of Buildings

Owner Agent Occupier Person Requirement
1205 . . . Must comply with maintenance determination
1207 . . . Must ensure maintenance schedule available
1208 . . . Must prepare the AESMR annually
1209 1209 . . AESMR must contain certain criteria including signature.
1211 . . . AESMR and maintenance records must be made available to authorities on request.
1214 . . . AESMR required for building built before 1 July 1994.
1215 1215 . . AESMR content building built before 1 July 1994
1216 . . . AESMR and maintenance records must be made available to authorities on request for building built before 1 July 1994
1217 . . . Responsibility for maintenance for buildings
built before 1 July 1994
. . 1218 . Maintenance of exits, efficient condition, clear etc.
. . 1220 1220 Maintenance / operation of swimming pool fences, gate etc.

Most passive essential safety measure items in a building are not well known, since there can be design safety features or structural elements built into the fabric of the building such as fire control joint and fire indices, or building element safety features such as discharge from exits into a public space, that are not often used, but are still incorporated in the AESMR.

Building Legislation Table

Refer to our Building Legislation table for further information on the building control process.

Fire Safety Compliance: Essential Safety Measures

Refer to our Essential Safety Measures Identification table for further information on individual Essential Safety Measures including fire door inspections.

Further Advice

For further advice, please contact the Essential Property Services office by clicking here.