Seven (Potentially) Deadly Sins

It’s the small details that count – and when it comes to safety, those small details matter in big ways.
The Star BMS team has noticed that many strata communities experience fall foul of seven simple but very important faults.
But the good news is, a Building Management and Maintenance System will identify many of these issues before they become potential hazards.
Emergency lights not working – These are simple to overlook, but in an actual emergency, these lights perform a lifesaving function. Emergency and exit light testing is one of those jobs that many RUMs don’t realise they legally are obliged to do every six months under Australian Standards 2293.2.
Emergency lighting must remain illuminated under battery power for at least 90 minutes. Depending on the number of emergency lights, you may wish to consult a licenced electrician to conduct the test
Pool gates not latching – Accidental drownings in swimming pools are preventable tragedies. Protect your community by addressing any issues with the adequacy of pool gate latches as a matter of urgency. If you’re not sure whether the pool gate latch complies, then perform this simple test:

  • The pool gate should always been kept shut and should never be propped open.
  • The pool gate should always swing outwards (away from the pool area).
  • The pool gate should always shut automatically from any open position, without having to forcibly close it.
  • The pool gate should always automatically locks (self-latch) when it closes.

Incorrect chemical balance of pool water – Poor water quality is more than just an unpleasant swimming experience, it is also a health hazard. Public swimming pools have a recommended testing regime and this can be adopted as best practice for strata community pools as well.
Getting into the habit of doing a weekly check of the pool chemistry (perhaps even daily during peak usage periods) ensures you stay on top of any issues.
Rubbish being stored onsite or even worse in fire stairs – Rubbish should be cleared away as soon as possible. Gathering rubbish attracts vermin. Old chemicals should be treated caution. Many council’s offer a garden waste collection service.
Rubbish, including large items such as broken furniture should not obstruct fire stairs or emergency exits. If garbage of this kind is an issue for residents, consider asking the committee to authorise a professional rubbish removal service to take away large items.
Inadequate cleaning – Poor cleaning reflects badly on the community as a whole and it can also be a hazard. For example if inadequate cleaning makes tiled or concrete surfaces a slip hazard.
Trip hazards – Broken tiles, lifting pavers and poorly cared for carpet is a recipe for disaster.

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