Essential Safety Measures are the life & fire safety systems required in commercial, industrial & public buildings to ensure the safety of occupants in the event of a fire or emergency.
In Victoria, Part 12 of the latest Building Regulations 2006 has aligned the Essential Safety Measures maintenance requirements with the maintenance provisions outlined in sections I1.1 to I1.13 of the Building Code of Australia.
The schedule of Essential Safety Measures associated with Occupancy Permits for building built after 1 May 2004 will be utilising these new BCA definitions.
Essential Safety Measures - buildings built before 1 May 2004
Buildings built before 1 May 2004 but after 1 July 1994 will be subject to an Occupancy Permit and have Essential Safety Measures listed. These will have Essential safety Measures listed in five categories - Egress and Access, Electrical Services, Fire Detection and Suppression Equipment, Fire Resistance and lastly Mechanical Services.
Essential Safety Measures - buildings built after 1 July 1994
All buildings built after 1 July 1994 and subject to an Occupancy Permit must have an Annual Essential Safety Measures Report (AESMR) prepared each year.
Essential Safety Measures - building built before 1 July 1994
For buildings built before 1 July 1994, essential safety measures and systems are still present and they are to be maintained. From 14th June 2009, Annual Essential Safety Measures Reports must also be prepared for these older buildings. The owners in most cases will need to engage the services of a competent specialist to identify the Essential Safety Measures present and to create a maintenance schedule to ensure the safety measures will be inspected and maintained to an acceptable standard. The acceptable standard that should be considered should be the latest maintenance standard AS1851-2005 unless the owner can justify why some other standard can be used.