QLD – HENDRY building certifiers advise budget accommodation building owners and managers that there are currently specific occupancy requirements in addition to standard requirements for commercial buildings under Queensland legislation (Building Act 1975) Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 (BFSR) for fire safety management planning and fire safety generally.

SUMMARY DEFINITION OF A BUDGET ACCOMMODATION BUILDING

In accordance with Part 216 of the Building Act 1975 the meaning of Budget Accommodation is a building:

  1. whose occupants have shared access to a bathroom or sanitary facilities, other than a laundry.
  2. that provides accommodation of a following type for 6 or more persons i.e:
  • boarding house
  • backpacker or other hostel
  • guesthouse
  • share-house or similar type accommodation
  • bed and breakfast, farm stay or hotel accommodation
  • accommodation for persons who have an intellectual or physical disability and require full time or part time care.

In addition to the standard fire safety requirements (BFSR) for commercial buildings, budget accommodation buildings have additional requirements in relation ensuring compliant occupancy and general fire safety for the occupants.

OCCUPANCY NUMBERS

The Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 and Queensland Development Code make specific references to budget accommodation buildings with respect to occupancy numbers.

Parts 15 & 16 of the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 places general obligations about the number of persons in a building.

The owner or occupier of a building must ensure that the number of persons in the building at any one time does not present an unreasonable risk to the safety of a person in the building under BFSR.

The owner or occupier of a building must ensure that the number of persons in the building at any one time is not more than the maximum number that may be accommodated for a budget accommodation building to which the Building Act 1975, chapter 7, part 3 applies, the BFSR, and the Queensland Development Code, MP 2.1, performance criteria P3 and acceptable solution A3 or otherwise the Building Code of Australia (BCA) , part D1.13 or part D 1.6.

FIRE SAFETY MANAGEMENT PLANS

In accordance with the Fire and Rescue Service Act Part 104 the owner of a budget accommodation building must prepare a fire safety management plan for the building under the BFSR.

Failure to comply with the provisions of the Act and in the event of a building fire means imprisonment penalties apply.

The owner of a budget accommodation building is required to prepare a fire safety management plan for the building and must ensure the plan is updated as soon as practicable, but not later than 1 month, after a change in circumstances affecting the plan’s compliance with the fire safety standard under BFSR 2008.

Meaning of fire safety management plan under BFSR

A fire safety management plan for a building is a plan that states each of the following:

  • The allowable number of occupants for the building
  • The proposed maintenance schedule for the building’s prescribed fire safety installations
  • The evacuation plan for evacuating the building’s occupants, including occupants with an intellectual or physical disability, in the event of a fire in the building
  • Details of the proposed training programs for occupants and persons employed in the building about:
  1. Fire management and prevention
  2. Emergency evacuation
  3. A list of the building’s prescribed fire safety installations with the brand name and model number of each installation, if applicable.

The BFSR requires a fire safety management plan to be attached to it, or be accompanied by, a copy of the building plans, in a reasonable scale and identifying the location of the building’s prescribed fire safety installations.

Accessing fire safety management plan

The owner of a budget accommodation building must ensure a copy of the building’s current fire safety management plan is kept in the building and is available for inspection, free of charge, by the building’s occupants and other members of the public whenever the building is open for business.

RELEVANT DOCUMENTS

In accordance with Part 55B & 71 of the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 there are record keeping requirements for occupiers.

The occupier must keep with the fire safety management plan for the building:
(a) the record of maintenance for the building; and
(b) the occupier statements prepared under section 55A of the regulation for the building.

The occupier must keep plans and other particular documents:
(a) a fire safety management plan

The owner or occupier must keep a copy of the plan or document in the building in a way that it is reasonably likely not to be damaged in the event of a fire or hazardous materials emergency and in a secure place in other premises.

If a copy of a plan or document is kept in electronic form at a building, the information contained in the electronic form of the plan or document must be readily accessible at the building so as to be usable for subsequent reference under the BFSR.

EVACUATION PRACTICE

In accordance with part 43 & 84 of the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 the following requirements apply for evacuation practice for continuously occupied budget accommodation buildings.

The occupier must ensure that an evacuation of the building under the building’s fire and evacuation plan as required by the BFSR is carried out if a former evacuation of the building was carried out within 1 year immediately before the commencement —within 1 year after the day the former evacuation was carried out; or otherwise —within 3 months after the commencement.

Building Legislation Table

Refer to our Building Legislation table for further information on the building control process.