The MFB’s Involvement In Essential Safety Measure Compliance
Unfortunately, the management of Essential Safety Measure’s (ESM’s) are often found to be lacking or non-existent for many buildings. In some cases, the owner is unaware about their legal obligations to comply with fire safety and protection over the life of the building. The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) can reprimand parties that are not complying with the standard practice of building safety and fire regulations. In addition, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) has the authority to ‘slap’ non-compliant parties with prosecution.
Under the Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2006, the MFB’s Chief Officer can enforce essential fire safety maintenance requirements within existing commercial buildings, as well as specific fire safety standards within certain existing residential buildings.
All buildings, other than a house or outbuilding, are affected by essential safety measures. For a list of the Classes of buildings, please click here. Buildings and public entertainment venues are inspected and any fire safety risks or regulatory breaches are identified so the occupier and owner can take appropriate action to meet their statutory obligations. As the owner of a building, they are responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the building to ensure they function properly and fulfil their purpose.
The Fire Authority can issue warning letters and in some cases, they will issue fines. Non-compliant buildings may impose a fine of over $17,000 for an individual or over $88,000 for companies for each breach if the issues are not shown to be in the process of being rectified. The MFB can also override a council’s report of the buildings ESM fire safety component. In a rare case that a council reports a building is compliant and the MFB report does not align with it, the MFB ruling is final and owners need to comply with this.
SPI has created an Essential Safety Measures Program to help building owners with their ESM obligations with aims of making their building compliant and reducing the chance of receiving hefty fines. In our 5-step process, we help you establish a maintenance program that will assist in understanding your essential safety measures requirements. As instructed by MFB, it is essential that the safety procedures are maintained and followed. Here at SPI, we will endeavour to make sure you meet these obligations.
Here are a few additional general fire safety tips that are recommended
- Monthly testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.
- Education is key- make sure the occupants are educated on the fire and safety procedures and that they are applied correctly.
- False alarm risk assessments- practise makes perfect. Implementing fire drills are recommended to assess and eliminate any potential risks, possibly decreasing the chances of an emergency occurring.
- Implement and follow fire and safety procedures. Be ‘current’ with the Essential Safety Measures requirements and be sure to follow the advice from the MFB.
The above information was sourced from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Website. To learn more about recommended fire safety procedures, visit the website here.
If you have any enquiries regarding ESM requirements or you would like SPI to assist you with an ESM service- please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 1300 721 032 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can fill out an enquiry form here.