Commencing with one small Real Estate client in Prahran Victoria in 2009, AESI has quickly established an enviable reputation as a leading service provider and advisor on Essential Safety Measures to commercial property owners and managing agents throughout Victoria.
From the very start, we have focussed on working closely with leading Real Estate Agents in providing a high quality range of products and services that add value to the Agents commercial and industrial rental portfolio. In what is a complex world of legislation and statutory building regulations, our aim is to assist property owners and protect their investments by ensuring that all Essential Safety Measures in the property meet and comply with current requirements.
Likewise, the AESI maintenance inspection and reporting system is highly efficient and in a short time it has become well established in over 5000 commercial properties throughout Victoria. Our all- important auditing process cuts through the “red tape” and provides a quick turn-around in meeting the strict requirements of the Building Commission.
ESM FACTS FOR LANDLORDS
1. ESM Responsibility
The Building act of 2006 and the Building regulations part 12 stipulate that the owner of a commercial building is responsible for ensuring the maintenance and upkeep of the essential safety measures that form part of the property.
2. ESM Maintenance Program
Under the legislation, an Essential Safety Measures maintenance program includes inspection reports on the traditional fire-fighting equipment, fire resistant structures, exit doors and correct locking devices, discharge from exits, paths of travel, exit signs and emergency lighting, smoke control, ventilation and air conditioning units.
3. ESM Annual Reporting
In accordance with the legislation and maintenance checks, property owners are also required to provide a signed annual ESM Report showing that they have fulfilled all obligations in relation to complying with the safety measures regulations and standards.
4. ESM Enforcement and Penalties
Fire Officers and the Municipal Building Surveyors are the authorities responsible to ensure public safety and as such are responsible for enforcing penalties as determined under the building act. This obligation includes the conduct of regular, random audits on commercial properties across Victoria.
Currently, the fines for not having an annual audit done on a commercial property are $60,000 for an individual and $300,000 for a company. An infringement notice carrying a lessor fine of $1,200 may result if Essential Safety Measures on the property are not correctly serviced as per the BCA or the AS1581 regulation. Common infringement examples include:
• Fire extinguishers not tagged as being serviced in the last 6 months.
• Exit lights with no log book on site showing completed 90 minute, 6 monthly test results.
5. ESMs and the Lease
It is now good practice for many commercial property lease agreements to stipulate that Essential Safety Measures are properly located and maintained at a level that provides correct operation in an emergency.
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