VBA Inspectors to Visit Bushfire Affected Properties

The Australian bushfires shocked the world when news outlets began to report it. For a time, people were uninformed about the whole situation – until social media and other news outlets decided to spread the word. There was panic, concern, fear, and a lot of canceled visits. The record-breaking temperatures across the nation, as well as severe drought, caused the massive bushfires, especially in New South Wales and Victoria.

Over the holiday season, many were forced to evacuate the areas in Victoria and New South Wales. Authorities made it perfectly clear that the fires were more serious than most people think, and of course, the safety of the people should always come first. Fortunately, some rain and cooler temperatures have brought relief from the fires, there’s still so much to be done.

The Victorian Building Authority or VBA is making great efforts to help out.

The VBA has reportedly deployed teams of building inspectors to areas that were affected by the fires. To identify hazards as well as assess the extent of the damage and how stable the remaining properties are. The inspection is also meant to check whether buildings and houses are safe to enter. A few steps will be made during this inspection. Here are those.

  • All inspectors will provide an assessment report to the local council’s municipal building surveyor

  • The municipal building surveyor will consider the findings and then make an informed decision for the safety of the property.

  • Other actions the surveyor could perform include an emergency order to remove damaged properties, collapsed buildings, as well as other actions necessary.

The first inspections commenced last February 10th in the East Gippsland towns of Belbird Creek, Cann River, and Club Terrace. The inspectors that were deployed were made to finish specialist training to ensure safety. Collapsed structures, fallen security lines, hazardous chemicals and many more will bring about potential danger so training is absolutely necessary.

According to the VBA State’s Building Surveyor, Andrew Cialini, the inspections conducted were part of the bushfire response program that will carry on for months. He added, “The VBA has been supporting municipal building surveyors in bushfire-affected parts of Victoria for several weeks now by sharing information and resources, acting as a central point of contact for incident management advice, and coordinating the distribution of resources to where they are needed.”

Each inspection team, composed of three to four specialists will spend days in bushfire affected areas to gather enough information, and only then will they go back to Melbourne. Key access roads were reopened to the public, and the VBA was requested for some assistance to ensure order and safety.

The deployment is expected to continue until mid-March this year and is continuously looking for assistance regarding secondary site assessments. Also, “a registered building surveyor and inspector with vast expertise in bushfire response management has accompanied the initial VBA inspection team to observe inspection processes and determine how the VBA can provide additional assistance beyond its inspection activities.”

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