Essential safety measures can either be active or passive:
- Examples of active systems are sprinkler systems, emergency lighting, mechanical ventilation and fire alarm systems.
- Examples of passive systems are fire-resistant materials, fire windows, paths of travel to an exit and fire-isolated stairs that aid in escape.
Most essential passive fire safety maintenance items in a building are not well known or easily identified as they can be designed into safety features or structural elements already built into the fabric of the building. Fire safety maintenance items can include fire control joints and fire indices or building element safety features such as discharge from exits into a public space. These are not often used but are still incorporated in the annual essential safety measures report (AESMR).
Upon completion of any building works whether the building is being constructed or altered, the building surveyor will either issue an Occupancy Permit or a Certificate of Final Inspection. Both of these documents will contain a list of the structure’s essential safety measures and the frequency each ESM item must be maintained
Completely Up to Code
Essential Safety Solutions notes that it is imperative that building owners and tenants know their responsibilities and obligations relative to the essential safety measures provisions contained in the Building Regulations 2006. In many cases these provisions including the signing each year of the AESMR – pass unnoticed.
Few building owners and occupiers are aware of the obligations that have been enacted since June 2009 that relate to them, namely that owners of all buildings old and new are required to sign an AESMR for the previous 12 months every year and ensure that their safety measures, including fire alarm systems, are properly maintained.