AESMR

All about the AESMR

What is an AESMR?

AESMR stands for Annual Essential Safety Measures Report.

It is an annual report made by the building owner, or an agent of the owner, that states that all essential safety measures of a particular building have been maintained and are operating satisfactorily.

There are different obligations under the Victorian Building Regulations, dependent on when the building was built or when building work occurred on the building.

Councils have responsibility under the Building Act 1993 (VIC) for the enforcement of building safety within their municipality.

The municipal building surveyor or chief officer of the relevant fire authority is responsible for the enforcement of the maintenance provisions of the Regulations.

Building owners must prepare an annual essential safety measures report on the buildings essential safety measures. They may authorise an agent, such as a specialist maintenance contractor, to complete the report. The annual essential safety measures report is to be in accordance with the approved form.

For a building built prior to 1 July 1994, the regulations state that the AESMR must be completed in the 28 days prior to 13 June each year. For buildings constructed or altered since 1 July 1994, the AESMR must be completed within the 28 days prior to the anniversary date of the Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection.

How do I complete my AESMR?

Gather all of your essential safety measures records. These should all be found in your Redbook or in your LinkFM account. Ensure any outstanding tasks or defects are completed.

Double check that all ESM items are listed on the AESMR and that your building details are correct. 

Complete the section titled ‘Inspection report made under section 227E of the Building Act 1993’ if you have had an inspection from the council or fire authority in the last 12 months. Insert N/A into the table if you have had no inspections. 

Read through the Statement by Owner and, if everything is in order, date and sign the form. 

 

Are you considered to be an agent or an owner of the property?

If you are listed as the owner of the building on the deed to the property, then you are considered to be the owner. 

Under section 240 of the Building Act 1993, an owner may in writing authorise another person to act as their agent on behalf of the owner.

If you have written authority to act on behalf of the building owner, then you are the agent of the property. 

In general terms, when a church property is held in trust by a denomination, the denomination is deemed to be the owner. The agent in this case is the person authorised by the secretary of the church to complete or oversee the essential safety of the church. This could be the Redbook coordinator, safety officer or, in some cases, the church secretary. This can vary from denomination to denomination as it can depend on the way the trust has been structured as to who is the authorised agent. If you are unsure, you should contact your denomination. 

For a building built prior to 1 July 1994, the regulations state that the AESMR must be completed in the 28 days prior to 13 June each year. For buildings constructed or altered since 1 July 1994, the AESMR must be completed within the 28 days prior to the anniversary date of the Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection.

The owner must also keep records of maintenance checks, safety measures and repair work so a municipal building surveyor or chief officer of the fire brigade can inspect them. These documents must be made available to the municipal building surveyor or the chief officer on request after 24 hours’ notice has been given. Annual essential safety measure reports and records of maintenance checks, safety measure and repair work must be made available for inspection on request after 24 hours’ notice has been given.

If building work is proposed to alter an existing building it may have an effect on essential safety measures, so it is worth checking with a municipal building surveyor or private building surveyor to see what needs to be done to comply with the Act and the Regulations.

The owners of all Class 9 buildings, and Class 2 to 8 buildings constructed or altered since 1 July 1994, must have a current copy of the building’s occupancy permit on display in the building. These can be framed, placed in a sealed, transparent or glass covered notice board or for multiple pages, the pages may be laminated so they can be suspended or fixed in a prominent position in the building as approved by the building surveyor.

Buildings built before 1 July 1994

If the building was built before 1 July 1994, the owner is responsible for ensuring that any safety equipment, safety fittings or safety measures are maintained and fulfilling their purpose. This includes exits and paths of travel to exits.

Buildings constructed or altered since 1 July 1994

If the building was constructed or altered since 1 July 1994, the list of essential safety measures, including their performance level, frequency and type of maintenance required would be included with the occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.

Maintenance

Adequate maintenance is the best means of ensuring that fire safety systems will operate reliably if an emergency arises. Through meeting these requirements, the owner will have greater knowledge of the safety and condition of their building.

Penalties

Non-compliance may result in an infringement notice being issued by Council or the Fire Authority with a fine of over $290 and furthermore, non-compliance may result in prosecution in which a fine may be imposed of over $1,400 under the Regulations, or of over $17,000 for an individual or over $88,000 for companies for each breach. More importantly, non-compliance could place not only building occupants at risk but also those of passers-by and the occupants of adjoining buildings.