Essential Safety Measures are life and fire safety features and equipment which are installed within a building to ensure a safe and healthy built environment in all buildings.
Part 12 of the Building Regulations require that all Essential Safety Measures installed within a given building are maintained at regular intervals and to a prescribed standard.
The level and degree of maintenance will depend on the date the building was constructed with requirements generally grouped into 3 categories:
Essential Safety Measures include all traditional building fire services such as sprinklers, fire extinguishers, mechanical ventilation and the like but also include passive ‘in-built’ features such as fire doors, fire isolated stairs and/or fire rated structures.
The objectives of maintenance as required by Part 12 of the Building Regulations 2006 is to ensure that every ESM continues to perform at the same level of operation that existing at the time of installation and commissioning.
Essential Safety Measures are currently grouped into the following groups:
The applicable standard for maintenance and testing of fire protection equipment is AS 1851 which was recently updated and revised to as 1851-2012. This standard provides all of the relevant technical information and requirements including the level / method of maintenance and frequency relating to maintenance of ESM’s.