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QLD Buildings Fail New Fire Standard

A high number of Queensland residential care buildings do not comply with the state’s new fire safety standards. An audit on fire safety standards of Queensland’s residential care buildings revealed over 25,000 residents were still living in 784 non-compliant buildings.

Residential care buildings are defined as housing six or more people needing physical help for daily activities.

The bill to improve fire safety was passed in Queensland Parliament last year and 926 residential care buildings housing 31,096 people became non-compliant. Since then only 15% of residential care buildings had been made compliant with the new standard.

Brisbane had the highest number of residential care buildings not yet meeting the state’s new fire safety standards. The number of non compliant buildings in the state’s capital is 202.

The Sunshine Coast was next with 107 buildings, housing residents with special care needs that needed updating to meet the new legislation.

Rockhampton was fifth with 42 buildings and Toowoomba seventh with 37 buildings which needed to comply.

Housing and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg has said the audit showed there was still much work to do. He said 644 of the non-compliant buildings were either single-storey or built with fire-retardant materials and had until September, 2016, to comply.

The remaining 140 buildings were made from combustible materials or multi-storey and had until September, 2014, to comply.

The fire-retardant buildings can choose strategies such as higher staff ratios, better fire suppression and fire safety management plans.

Older-style timber buildings might have to install sprinkler systems, bedroom door closers or fire resistant walls to meet standards, though figures show regionally only a handful of buildings need sprinklers.

About the Author

Joanne Wallace is our resident "Safety Guru". Joanne has provided advice on safety management for the past 10 years and written hundreds of articles on safety issues and tips. Joanne has experience in many industries ranging from manufacturing, food processing, timber milling, retail, office and wholesaling providing her with knowledge and experience managing risk and injuries in these industries.

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