What Are Essential Safety Measures?

Essential Safety Measures are the life and fire safety systems that the law requires all industrial, commercial and public building owners to implement and maintain. The Regulations necessitate that owners maintain safety equipment, safety fittings and safety measures.

Essential Safety Measures include all traditional building fire services such as sprinklers and mechanical services, but also include passive fire safety installations like fire doors, fire rated structures, and other building infrastructure including paths of travel to exits.

Building occupiers have an obligation to ensure that all exits and paths of egress remain easily accessible and functional in order to ensure the safety of persons utilizing the building.

Non-compliance may result in a fine for over $90,000* for individuals or over $400,000* for companies.
* Fines and infringements increase annually - part 12 of The Building Regulations Act 2006

Councils are responsible for maintaining and enforcing building legislation within their given municipality, they are required to ensure building owners comply with the legal standards defined under Building Regulations 2018, regarding items listed in Tables 1.1 to 1.13 of the Buildings Code of Australia.

Building owners must ensure that an Annual Essential Safety Measures Report (AESMR) is prepared under regulation 223-224. The owner must also keep records of maintenance checks, safety measures and repair works on-site so a municipal building surveyor or chief officer of the fire brigade can inspect them.


The regulations necessitate that owners maintain safety equipment, safety fittings, and safety measures including:

  • Fire hydrants/Hose reels

  • Fire isolated stairs

  • Fire rated materials

  • Fire/smoke doors

  • Mechanical ventilation

  • Passage ramps

  • Path of travel to exits

  • Smoke alarms/ Detectors

  • Smoke control systems

  • Sprinkler systems

  • Fire windows

  • Exit Doors

  • Air conditioning systems

  • Early warning systems

  • Emergency lifts and lighting

  • Emergency lighting

  • Emergency power supply

  • Emergency warning systems

  • Exit signs

  • Fire control centres

  • Fire curtains and doors

  • Fire extinguishers

  • Fire detectors and alarm systems