6 Steps To Nailing Your AESMR

A fire alarm and fire extinguisher inside of a building.

6 Steps To Nailing Your AESMR

Regulations 223 of the Victorian Building Regulations 2018 requires property owners to prepare an Annual Essential Safety Measures Report (AESMR), every year during the life span of the building. This report proves and assures that you are taking all legal steps to ensure the essential safety measures of your building as a building owner.

As an owner, you must prepare your AESMR within 28 days before the anniversary of the first occupancy permit’s issue date. Or alternatively, within 28 days before the anniversary of the first maintenance determination’s issue date. If no occupancy permit or maintenance determination applies, you must prepare your AESMR within 28 days prior to 13 June each year.

AESMR preparation can cause some building owners stress or concern. Additionally, no one wants to be caught with non-compliance for non-performance of required maintenance. For these reasons, we’ve put together a helpful recipe for a stress-free AESMR experience.

Table of Contents

1. Start early

The best thing you can do when preparing your AESMR is to give yourself plenty of time to do it. As an owner, you’re busy. You have other responsibilities and to-do’s keep piling up – sometimes getting lost in the madness.  

The AESMR is typically a straightforward document to put together. But it can be litigious, so it does take time. An AESMR contains several documents in addition to the report itself. These include: 

  • Maintenance schedules relating to essential safety measures (ESM) 
  • Maintenance determinations appended to occupancy permits requiring the provision of ESMs 
  • Records of all inspections, testing and maintenance of any ESMs for the building 

Additionally, you must keep copies of previous AESMRs and regulations within the past 10 years if the Victorian Building Authority, Local Municipal Authorities or Fire Safety Victoria follows up and audits you.

As you can see, it can be a big job. Particularly if you own a portfolio of buildings and need to submit an AESMR for each one. The amount of time it takes to prepare your report/s increases even further if a building has several owners.  

If you start preparing at least 2 months before your AESMR is due, you’ll give yourself the best chance at nailing your AESMR and ensuring best practice.  

2. Keep a detailed schedule of maintenance

To assist in the preparation of your AESMR submission, you’ll need to ensure all required scheduled maintenance tasks relating to essential safety measures work throughout the year. Your schedule of maintenance should reference ESMs, their maintenance requirements and your compliance with Australian Standards and legislation. 

Your maintenance schedule should include the work needed, corresponding legislative requirements, the date you identified necessary work, the anticipated date work would commence and the finish date of the work. In addition, include details of the contractor responsible for carrying out the inspection, testing or maintenance work.  

If you’ve been diligently updating your maintenance schedule, this step should be more of a glance over to double-check that the information provided is correct and up to date. 

3. Consolidate your data in one place

Preparing your AESMR is much easier when you track all your permits, documents and data in a single repository. This central storage space could take several forms – a well-organised folder in the cloud, a physical drawer in a filing cabinet, or an online portal like the Hendry Client Portal. 

Your repository should store all your essential safety measure inspections, reports, audits and recommendations. It should also make it easy to select necessary inclusions in your AESMR submission. 

Annual System Condition Reports are required by AS1851-2012 from each of your essential safety measures contractors. Obtaining these reports will provide an overview of the maintenance performed on your building for the prior 12 months and provide the basis for your AESMR preparation. 

4. Check the accuracy of your information

Dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s is important. Especially when it comes to compliance. Once you’ve assembled everything you need for your AESMR, go through everything carefully to ensure that all the provided information is correct and accurate.  

It’s also beneficial to get a second person to review it with fresh eyes.  

5. Consult a professional

Hendry advises that you consult a professional for advice concerning the maintenance of ESMs. Consulting an advisor is even more valuable when dealing with buildings where fire engineered, and other performance-based solutions have been applied. Additionally, we recommend consulting an advisor where you must maintain non-standard essential safety measures.  

Of course, building advisories like Hendry can also prepare your AESMR for you. Consulting a professional reduces the amount of time, document searching and mental capacity you would otherwise forfeit.  

6. Finalise your annual essential safety measure report (AESMR)

You’ve prepared all your documents and checked them twice. Now you need to finalise and store it for future reference. Using the AESMR template provided by the Victorian Building Authority, fill in all relevant information and ensure the AESMR is signed by the owner or their direct agent. 

Be careful to ensure that you complete your AESMR by the due date to ensure you remain compliant. If you’re a client with Hendry, we will send you reminders to keep you on track. Otherwise, you can set up reminders on your work calendar to alert you 3 months, 1 month, 1 week and 1 day before the submission date.  

Need help nailing your AESMR?

If you want to outsource your AESMR preparation, Hendry is here for you. Consulting a professional reduces the amount of time, document searching and mental capacity you otherwise forfeit.

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A fire alarm and fire extinguisher inside of a building.
6 Steps To Nailing Your AESMR

Check out our helpful recipe for a stress-free Annual Essential Safety Measures Report (AESMR) submission experience for property owners.