Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: We are currently updating information following recent Queensland and Australian Government announcements. Find assistance and support for coronavirus affected businesses and industries.

Fire safety installations in buildings

Fire safety installations in buildings must be capable of operating to performance standards to be effective in a fire.

Requirements for regular maintenance testing and recording ensure that fire safety installations continue to provide appropriate safety standards for building occupants.

Queensland Development Code (QDC) MP 6.1 – Commissioning and maintenance of fire safety installations (PDF, 100KB) outlines clear standards for maintaining fire safety installations.

Buildings covered by the code

MP 6.1 applies to Class 1b and Class 2–9 buildings, including existing buildings.

The code doesn't apply to:

  • Class 1a buildings (e.g. detached house or townhouse)
  • Class 10 buildings (e.g. domestic shed or garage).

Check the building classes to make sure this information is relevant for you.

Compliance with maintenance code

If you're a building owner or occupier, you must know if your building has 'prescribed fire safety installations' and your obligations to maintain them.

If you do have a prescribed fire safety installation in your building, you must comply with the MP 6.1, which contains a full list of fire safety installations covered.

The Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 sets out the penalties for non-compliance with the code – up to 30 penalty units.

Occupier's statement to QFES

The building occupant must also provide a yearly occupier's statement (DOC, 70KB) to the Commissioner of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).

The statement confirms that the building's fire safety installations have been maintained in accordance with a relevant standard or recommendation.

  • If a building is occupied by a tenant, the tenant must ensure that fire safety installations are maintained.
  • If a building is occupied by the building owner, the owner must ensure they're maintained.
  • If there is no occupier, the building owner must sign the statement.

QFES officers can conduct audits and issue on-the-spot fines to occupiers who don't comply with the maintenance code.

Body corporate obligations

MP 6.1 applies to multi-unit residential buildings (Class 2) and holiday/business accommodation buildings (Class 3), which are usually covered by body corporate arrangements for ongoing management and maintenance.

Body corporate members should determine who is authorised to sign the yearly occupier's statement (DOC, 70KB), on behalf of the body corporate and send it to the regional QFES office or email occupier.statements@qfes.qld.gov.au.

To ensure the building is maintained, a body corporate can:

  • determine who is authorised to sign the occupier's statement form on behalf of the body corporate
  • confirm the date when the building was approved for construction
  • enter into a maintenance contract with an appropriately licensed person to ensure ongoing periodic maintenance
  • confirm dates of maintenance inspections where entry into individual units may be needed, such as to inspect unit entry doors that are fire doors
  • keep records of all maintenance for 2 years with the building's fire safety management plan.

Buildings with several tenancies

Sometimes one building may have several tenancies, such as a shopping centre with different occupants.

In this case, each occupier is usually responsible for fire safety installations within their own tenancy, while the building manager is responsible for installations in the common areas or outside the building on their property.

For example, a restaurant may have fire extinguishers in the kitchen within its tenancy; however, the restaurant's hydrant is in a common area that several shops could use.

In this instance, the restaurant tenant (the occupier) would ensure periodic maintenance on the fire extinguishers and coordinate the hydrant maintenance with other tenants.

The agreed method of maintenance could be established through the building manager or the tenancy contract.

Contact

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support: 1300 654 687

General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)