What are “Essential Safety Measures” (ESM) and basic service frequencies?


Name of ESM Purpose and basic service frequency
(frequency may vary with building age)
Air Conditioning Systems A mechanical air handling system must safeguard occupants from illness or loss of amenity due to lack of air freshness. Monthly or 3 monthly.
Emergency lifts To enable emergency services personnel to access any floor of the building normally serviced by the lift and carry out emergency procedures and assist in occupant evacuation. Annual.
Emergency lighting To safeguard occupants from injury by providing sufficient lighting to allow safe occupant evacuation in an emergency. Bi annual.
Emergency power supply An emergency power supply is required to ensure the operation of required safety systems in the event of mains power failure. Annual.
Emergency warning and intercommunication systems An emergency warning and intercommunication system (EWIS) is installed in a building to alert occupants in the event of an emergency and enable an orderly evacuation of the building. Monthly.
Exit doors To provide a means of egress from any part of the building. Quarterly or bi annual.
Exit signs Exit signs are provided to aid occupant identification of exits and paths of travel to exits. Bi annual.
Fire Brigade connections Automatic notification to local MFB or CFA of a system activation to attend site (via ADT or CodeRed ASE). Weekly or monthly.
Fire control centers A fire control centre is provided as an area from which fire-fighting operations or emergency procedures can be directed or controlled. Annual.
Fire control panels A fire-detection and alarm system is installed to sense and provide warning of a fire in its initial development stage. Proper operation of this system will afford the building occupants the maximum amount of time available to seek safe refuge. Monthly.
Fire curtain A fire curtain is provided in a theatre to prevent the passage of smoke and fire from the stage area to the audience area. Annual.
Fire Dampers Fire dampers are generally installed within duct work or in a fire rated structure to stop the spread of fire and smoke. They are designed to assist in maintaining the integrity of the fire separation between floors or fire compartments in the building. Annual.
Fire detectors and alarm systems A fire-detection and alarm system is installed to sense and provide warning of a fire in its initial development stage. Proper operation of this system will afford the building occupants the maximum amount of time available to seek safe refuge. Monthly.
Fire doors A fire door is installed across an opening in a fire wall to maintain the fire- resistance rating of that fire wall. Quarterly.
Fire extinguishers (portable) Portable fire extinguishers provide occupants with an appliance with which to attack a fire in its initial stages. Bi annual.
Fire hose reels Fire hose reels are provided to enable occupants to undertake initial fire extinguishment. Bi annual.
Fire hydrants A fire hydrant system is installed to provide fire-fighting personnel a supply of water for fire-fighting purposes. Bi annual.
Fire indices for materials To indicate the suitability or otherwise of building materials, assemblies, linings and surface finishes in the ability to resist spread of flame and generation of smoke. Annual.
Fire-isolated lift shafts Lift shafts are required to be fire-isolated to prevent the passage of fire via the shaft to other floor levels of the building. Annual.
Fire-isolated passageways Fire isolated passageways, ramps and stairs are to provide occupants with safe egress from a building. Annual.
Fire-isolated ramps Fire isolated passageways, ramps and stairs are to provide occupants with safe egress from a building. Annual.
Fire-isolated stairs Fire isolated passageways, ramps and stairs are to provide occupants with safe egress from a building. Annual.
Fire mains Fire mains is the isolation point of water supply to the building fire services and must be in locked open position for a state of readiness at all times. Bi annual.
Fire-protective coverings These materials, when assigned to their particular applications, assist in maintaining the integrity of the fire separation between floors or fire compartments in the building, or provide protection to structural elements to retain their integrity in the event of fire. Annual.
Fire-rated access panels Fire-rated access panels are provided where access to shafts containing ventilation equipment, pipes, garbage chutes or other services, is required for maintenance purposes. Annual.
Fire-rated control joints These materials, when assigned to their particular applications, assist in maintaining the integrity of the fire separation between floors or fire compartments in the building, or provide protection to structural elements to retain their integrity. Annual.
Fire-rated materials applied to building element These materials, when assigned to their particular applications, assist in maintaining the integrity of the fire separation between floors or fire compartments in the building, or provide protection to structural elements to retain their integrity. Annual.
Fire-resisting shafts Shafts provided in buildings for provision of lifts, stairs, ventilation or services, passing from one storey or compartment to another, must have a fire-resistance level to protect those services and the compartments through which they pass. Annual.
Fire-resisting structures Certain elements and structures within the building must have a fire- resistance level to maintain structural stability during a fire and restrict the spread of fire. Annual.
Fire shutters To provide protection to openings by maintaining the integrity of fire- separation and compartmentation. Annual.
Fire windows To provide protection to openings by maintaining the integrity of fire- separation and compartmentation. This also includes windows that are automatic or permanently fixed in the closed position. Annual.
Lightweight construction Lightweight construction can be used to provide:- A wall with a fire resistanc level, a surround for a lift, stair or service shaft, a wall bounding a corridor, passageway or ramp, fire-resisting covering for a steel column. Annual.
Mechanical ventilation systems A mechanical air handling system must safeguard occupants from illness or loss of amenity due to lack of air freshness. Quarterly.
Paths of travel to exits Paths of travel to exits are to provide an unobstructed pathway for occupants travelling to an exit. Quarterly or bi annual.
Penetrations in fire-rated structures Maintain the integrity of a service penetration in a building element that has a fire-resistant level. Annual.
Smoke alarms Smoke alarms are installed either singly or in an interconnected circuit, to detect and provide an early warning of the presence of fire. This early warning is designed to provide as much time as possible to alert occupants of this threat. Monthly.
Smoke control measures To ensure, under fire and smoke conditions, occupants have sufficient time to evacuate before the evacuation route becomes untenable. Monthly or quarterly.
Smoke doors Smoke doors are constructed in smoke walls to restrict the passage of smoke between smoke compartments or walls, or from within a smoke lobby. Quarterly.
Smoke vents Smoke and heat vents are installed to assist the discharge of smoke and heat generated by fire. Annual.
Sprinkler systems A sprinkler system is installed to provide a full-time automatic fire suppression system, with the ability to summon the fire brigade automatically via a ASE. Weekly or monthly.
Stairwell pressurisation systems To ensure, under fire and smoke conditions, occupants have sufficient time to evacuate before the evacuation route becomes untenable. Quarterly.
Static water storage To provide a water supply from a tank to an automatic sprinkler or a fire hydrant system. Annual.
Vehicular access for large isolated buildings Where a building is permitted to be constructed in excess of the floor area requirements of the Building Code of Australia, vehicular access is required around that building for emergency services. Annual.
Warning systems associated with lifts Warning systems, associated with passenger lifts, are installed to warn occupants of the use of lift during a fire. Annual.