What does Essential Safety Measures mean?
Essential Safety Measures (ESM) describes the safety systems incorporated into a building during its design and construction. ESM maintenance ensures that important safety systems within the building remain at the required operational level throughout the life of the building.
What building types do Essential Safety Measures apply to?
All buildings other than a house or outbuilding have some form of Essential Safety Measures compliance. The requirements vary based on type, size and the age of the building.
What is included as an Essential Safety Measure?
Essential Safety Measures include but are not limited to:
• Air handling systems.
• Exit & emergency lighting systems.
• Fire services – fire blankets, extinguishers, hose reels, etc.
• Fire doors and fire rated constructions.
• Paths of travel.
• Smoke & fire detection systems.
• Sprinkler systems.
• Plus many more.
NOTE: we do not offer the above greyed out services.
The applicable Essential Safety Measures for your building are listed in the occupancy certificate or certificate of final inspection for building built or renovated after 1st July 1994. For buildings built prior to July 1994 a determination by a building surveyor may be required to identify what ESM’s are applicable.
How often do Essential Safety Measures need to be inspected?
The retest time varies based on the particular Essential Safety Measures, below is an indication based on the services we offer:
• Paths of travel = 3 monthly
• Exit & emergency lighting = 6 monthly
• Fire services (extinguishers, blankets, hose reels) = 6 monthly
• Smoke detectors = 6 monthly
* other essential Safety Measures have inspection periods ranging from weekly to monthly or 3, 6 or 12 monthly.
Who is responsible to ensure Essential Safety Measures are maintained?
It is the responsibility of the Building Owner or appointed Property Manager to ensure that Essential Safety measures are maintained in accordance with the building codes and Australian Standards.
Are there penalties for non-compliance of Essential Safety Measures?
Non-compliance may result in an infringement notice being issued by Council or the Fire Authority with applicable fines. Non-compliance may also result in prosecution with fines for each breach over $17,000 for individuals and over $88,000 for companies.
More importantly non-compliance could put people at risk and may result in your insurance being voided or a reduced payout in the event of a claim.
As a Building Owner or Property Manager what do I have to do?
As a building owner or property manager you are required to ensure that:
1. The applicable Essential Safety Measures have been identified for the building (refer to the occupancy certificate, certificate of final inspection or determination).
2. You have engaged qualified and experienced contractors to undertake maintenance of (inspection, testing and repairs) and reporting on each of the ESMs for the building.
3. Ensure that the Annual Essential Safety Measures Report is completed and submitted to the VBA.
Where do I get more information or assistance about Essential Safety Measures?
You can contact us for an obligation free discussion and review of your Essential Safety Measures requirements. From here we can quote &/or proceed with maintenance of your ESM requirements.
You can also contact the VBA or visit their website.
Service areas for Essential Safety Measures:
We generally service the Greater Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula and Surfcoast Regions of Victoria. For suburbs included in our regular service area check here.
We also service selected businesses in other areas, please contact us to discuss your requirements if outside these areas.