Building Regulations (Vic) 2018 - Part 15

According to the Victorian Building Authority ("VBA") the objectives of the Building Act 1993 is to (1) protect the safety and health of people who use buildings and places of public entertainment; and (2) improve the amenity of buildings. This includes TWO principal subordinate regulations; Building Regulations 2018; and Plumbing Regulations 2018.
Russ Porteous
CEO, Firewize
05 Aug, 2020

The Victorian Building Authority ("VBA") state that there are two principal subordinate regulations that enable the objectives of the Building Act 1993 in Victoria;

Building Regulations (Vic) 2018 came into effect on 2 June 2018 and contain requirements related to; 

  • Building Permits
  • Building Inspections
  • Occupancy Permits
  • Enforcement
  • Maintenance of Buildings & Places of Public Entertainment.

Division 1 of Part 15 of the Building Regulations (Vic) 2018 provide obligations to building owners for the maintenance of essential safety measures, while Division 2 covers the obligations of occupiers of buildings or places of public entertainment for the maintenance of exits and paths of travel to an exit.

Building Owners Obligations for Essential Safety Measures Maintenance

Part 15, Division 1 of the Building Regulations (Vic) 2018 sets out the obligations for building owners for the maintenance of essential safety measures in specific building classifications as follows;

  • a Class 1b, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building; and
  • a Class 4 part of a building; and
  • a place of public entertainment.

Division 1 does not apply to a smoke alarm installed ins a sole-occupancy unit in a Class 1b, Class 2 or Class 4 part of a building.

In order to comply with these obligations, a building owner must first have prepared a Maintenance Schedule.  A maintenance schedule is a document, in a form approved by the Victorian Building Authority ("VBA") prepared by the municipal building surveyor ("MBS") or a private building surveyor ("PBS") that details the required essential safety measures in a building (Regulation 222) and their respective maintenance requirements.

Once a Maintenance Schedule has been prepared a Building owner (or their Agent) will typically contract the services of a specialist fire and essential safety measures maintenance service provider such as Firewize to conduct the routine servicing and maintenance.

If you want to learn more about what essential safety measures need to be maintained, check our our article called "Maintaining Essential Safety Measures" This article provides a list of 

  • Building Fire Integrity (Doors & Shutters)
  • Means of Egress
  • Firefighting Services & Equipment
  • Lighting
  • Signs including Emergency Lighting & Exit Signs
  • Automatic Fire Detection and Alarm Systems
  • Occupant Warning Systems
  • Heat & Smoke Control Measures of Mechanical Ventilation Systems
  • Building Occupation & Use

The method and procedures for conducting the routine servicing of most of these essential safety measures are covered by Australian Standard AS1851.

Occupiers Obligations for Exits & Paths of Travel in Buildings

Part 15, Division 1 of the Building Regulations (Vic) 2018 provides specific obligations for occupiers of buildings or places of public entertainment as follows;

Maintenance of exits and paths of travel by occupiers of buildings or places of public entertainment
The occupier of a Class 1b, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building or place of public entertainment must ensure that—

        (a)     all exits in the building or place; and

        (b)     any paths of travel to exits in the building or place; and

        (c)     any paths of travel on the allotment from exits in the building or place to a road—

required to be provided in relation to that building or place are kept readily accessible, functional and clear of obstructions so that egress from the building or place is maintained.

Penalty:     20 penalty units.

If your a Building Owner, an Agent of an Owner or an Occupier of a building fitted with an essential safety measure, you will likely have an questions if the content of this subject are new to you.  Never fear, you can book an obligation free telephone call to discuss your needs with our CEO, Russ Porteous.

You can also contact us by email via our contact page and a member of our team will contact you in your preferred method.