Apartment Explosion Highlights Importance Of Maintenance Checks

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19th October 2009, 02:04pm - Views: 685

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Media Enquiries:

Robert Caulfield Managing Director Archicentre (03) 9819 4577 Mobile: 0412 381 306 

Ron Smith Corporate Media Communications Archicentre Mobile: 0417 329 201 

Media Release 

19 October 2009

Apartment Explosion Highlights Importance of Maintenance Checks

An explosion in an East Hawthorn apartment block in Melbourne yesterday  highlighted the

importance of  regular maintenance and safety  inspections on multi storey units and apartments

Archicentre said today. 

Robert Caulfield, Managing Director of Archicentre said the explosion highlighted the potential amount of

injury to numbers of people living within the single structure. 

“Whilst the explosion has happened on the second level of the apartment block the entire three storey

structure has been put at risk.”  

Mr Caulfield said when a building has such an explosion of the magnitude as experienced at East Hawthorn

yesterday, it may be necessary to pull the building down as it is difficult to ensure the integrity of the

structure and services such as plumbing and wiring. 

Archicentre is carrying out an increasing number of  body corporate inspections to determine maintenance

and safety requirements for body corporate organisations wanting to limit the risk of structural damage by

regular maintenance. 

“Many of the apartments in Melbourne built in the sixties and seventies were now approaching a time where

there was a need for increased surveillance and thorough pre-purchase inspections for prospective buyers

of individual apartments or blocks of flats.” 

“We have seen many cases where water penetration had rusted reinforcement in concrete floors, beams

and stairs dramatically weakening their structural integrity”  

Mr Caulfield said many flats and apartments built in the sixties and seventies also had problems of a lack of

fire separation in the roofs which meant fires could spread along in the roof cavity from one end of the 

building to the other without residents knowing there was a fire above as the smoke alarms are fixed in the

ceiling below the fire. 



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