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Department of Justice

What are you required to maintain

The essential safety and health features in buildings (other than dwellings) that must be maintained by owners or occupiers are prescribed in the Building Regulations 2016. The frequency of inspection and testing is set in the Director's Specified List December 2017 (pdf, 623.6 KB)

There are also other features of buildings that are important to maintain so that the building continues to perform as designed.

Examples of essential safety and health features include:

Building essential safety and health features

  • the building's fire integrity (fire proof walls and floors are intact and not compromised by illegal penetrations for plumbing, ducting or cabling)
  • means of safe egress (escape) from building (paths of travel to exits are clear, exit signs, fire doors and emergency lighting are working to assist occupant movement)
  • fire fighting services and equipment (including fire extinguishers, fire hose reels, fire hydrants and sprinkler systems)
  • air handling systems (to prevent the spread of smoke to other parts of a building)
  • automatic fire detection and alarm systems (smoke and heat detectors and connection to a monitored alarm)
  • building occupant warning systems (fire alarms and emergency warning systems)
  • passenger lifts (warning signs or an emergency lift operation)
  • standby power supply systems
  • mechanical ventilation and hot water, warm water and cooling water systems (to prevent growth of moulds, fungus and Legionella bacteria)
  • glazed assemblies (including glass doors and windows, revolving doors, shop fronts)
  • balustrades (to ensure they are firmly anchored and do not have broken or missing sections), balconies (to ensure that balconies are adequately supported and that fixings have not become corroded or cracked)
  • refrigerated chambers, strong rooms and vaults (to ensure that persons cannot become trapped inside)

Plumbing essential safety and health features

  • on-site waste water management systems including septic tanks and packaged treatment plants (to ensure continued operation)
  • backflow prevention devices (to prevent contamination of drinking water supplies)
  • thermostatic mixing valves or tempering valves (for temperature control in certain buildings)

Essential safety and health measures

These are safety and health strategies and management procedures. They include:

  • Building clearance (open space around large isolated buildings kept clear to allow access by fire brigade appliances)
  • Classification and use of the building (the use of a building must not be changed without due process as the new use may pose a greater risk to building occupants)
  • Emergency evacuation procedures (fire drill, notification of safe assembly areas)

Other features and measures

Other features and measures that must be maintained are:

  • access features for people with disabilities
  • energy efficiency features
  • water efficiency features
  • bushfire prone area bushfire protection features and measures

More details

A full list of all the prescribed features and measures required to be maintained can be found in Schedules 4, 5 and 6 of the Director of Director's Specified List December 2017 (pdf, 623.6 KB).