Department of Housing and Public Works | Fire safety

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 Fire safety

Following the Childers Palace Backpackers fire in June 2000, which resulted in 15 deaths, the Queensland Government implemented a staged fire safety improvement program to investigate and improve fire safety standards in high occupancy buildings.

The aim is to protect residents of these buildings by reducing the risk of another fire tragedy.

Budget Accommodation Buildings (BABs) and Residential Care Buildings (RCBs) are buildings with high occupancy rates and are subject to mandatory fire safety standards under the Queensland Development Code (QDC).

Budget accommodation buildings

Budget accommodation buildings provide accommodation for 6 or more people where all or any of the occupants of the building share a bathroom or sanitary facilities, other than a laundry.

Budget accommodation includes:

  • boarding houses
  • backpacker hostels
  • bed and breakfasts
  • farm stays
  • supported accommodation
  • hotels providing sleeping accommodation either as a community service or at commercial rates.

Budget accommodation excludes:

  • hotels without paying guests
  • motels not operating backpacker style (in which individual beds cannot be let)
  • buildings let only as a whole
  • employer provided accommodation
  • educational institutions
  • women's refuges or shelters
  • lifesaver accommodation
  • recreational camps for particular groups.


Existing budget accommodation buildings (built pre-1992) are required to comply with the fire safety standard in QDC Mandatory Part (MP) 2.1—Fire Safety in Budget Accommodation Buildings.

Owners and operators of existing budget accommodation buildings must ensure the building:

Builders and developers of new budget accommodation buildings must ensure the building:


Fire safety management plans

Guidelines and checklists for the creation of a Fire Safety Management Plan (PDF, 99KB) are available.

Compliance assessment and self-assessment

A guide to self-assessment for compliance is available.

Your local council can also assist with compliance assessment, both for new and for existing buildings.

Fire safety contractors

Lists of approved contractors and help to resolve disputes between owners and contractors are available from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (formally the Building Services Authority).

More information

For more information contact Building Codes Queensland.

Last updated 05 August 2014    

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