Bushfire and Essential Safety Measures (ESMs)

If you're planning on building or renovating, or occupying a building or place for public entertainment, there may be additional requirements or Essential Safety Measures (ESMs) you need to be aware of.

Essential Safety Measures (ESMs) are the safety features required in a building to protect occupants in the event of a fire.

The Building Regulations 2018 set out requirements for building owners to ensure essential safety measures are maintained. The type of measures that need to be implemented depend on when the building was built or when building work occurred.

Safety measures may include:

  • air handling systems
  • exit signs and doors 
  • emergency lifts, lighting, power supply and warning systems
  • fire hydrants and extinguishers.

You may need to provide details of your proposed safety measures when applying for an occupancy permit

If you're planning to build in a bushfire prone area, you may need to obtain a Bushfire Attack Level Assessment Report as part of your building permit application. 

Further information about bushfire safety and ESMs can be found on the Country Fire Authority (CFA) or the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) website.