Much work to do on fire safety: Flegg

THE Sunshine Coast had the highest number of residential care buildings, outside Brisbane, not yet meeting the state's new fire safety standards.

The Coast had 107 buildings, housing residents with special care needs, that needed updating to meet new legislation born from the 2010 Childers Backpackers Hostel fire which killed 15 people.

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

The figures were revealed on Friday in an audit report on fire safety standards of Queensland's pre-2007 residential care buildings which entered the spotlight last year after 11 elderly residents died in a fire at Quakers Hill Nursing Home in Sydney.

After the bill to improve fire safety passed in Queensland Parliament last year, 926 residential care buildings housing 31,096 people became non-compliant.

Inspectors found 25,604 residents were still living in 784 non-compliant buildings during the six months to February 29.

The Housing and Public Works Department could not provide a regional breakdown on the buildings still not complying.

Residential care buildings house six or more people, with at least 10% needing physical help for daily activities and would need help evacuating in an emergency.

Housing and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg said on Friday 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.

Mr Flegg said 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.

For more information phone Building Codes Queensland on 1800 534 972 or email buildingcodes@dlgp.qld.gov.au.

Buildings not compliant with new fire safety standards

  • Brisbane: 202 buildings, 22% of state
  • Sunshine Coast: 107, 12%
  • Gold Coast: 83, 9%
  • Rockhampton: 42, 5%
  • Toowoomba: 37, 4%
  • Bundaberg: 31, 3%
  • Fraser Coast: 25, 3%
  • Mackay: 19, 2%
  • South Burnett: 16
  • Gympie: 13
  • Ipswich: 13
  • Whitsunday: 9
  • North Burnett: 6
  • Gladstone: 5
  • Lockyer: 5
  • Maranoa: 5

Buildings needing sprinklers

  • Brisbane 36
  • Gold Coast 16
  • Toowoomba 3
  • Sunshine Coast 3
  • Gympie 2
  • Rockhampton 2
  • Burnett 2
  • Ipswich, Gladstone, Mackay 1


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