Skip links and keyboard navigation

Skip to primary navigation | Skip to secondary navigation | Skip to content | Skip to content | Skip to footer | Use tab and cursor keys to move around the page (more information)
Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Construction > Building and plumbing > Fire safety > Fire safety in residential care buildings

Fire safety in residential care buildings

A residential care building (RCB) is one that has 6 or more residents, and where at least 10% of residents need help to conduct their daily activities and to evacuate the building during an emergency.

Residents needing help may have physical, sensory, psychological or intellectual impairment.

A RCB is generally an aged care facility or nursing home, but is not a hospital.

New residential care buildings

All new RCBs must comply with  Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part 2.2—Fire Safety in Residential Care Buildings.

Requirements include:

  • a life safety sprinkler system
  • building-wide smoke detection systems
  • minimum carer-to-resident support ratio across smoke compartments
  • effective evacuation procedures.

Existing residential care buildings

Existing RCBs (approved or built before 1 June 2007) have different requirements.

Buildings identified on the department's register should now comply with QDC MP 2.3—Fire Safety in Existing Residential Care Buildings

Requirements depend on the type of building, but can include:

  • sprinklers
  • fire safety management plans
  • a minimum carer-to-resident support ratio
  • a combination of fire safety management practices.


All new RCBs will have been built to comply with QDC MP 2.2—Fire Safety in Residential Care Buildings.

All RCBs approved or built before 1 June 2007 have to comply with the QDC MP 2.3—Fire Safety in Existing Residential Care Buildings.

Extensions on compliance timeframe

Owners can request an extension of up to 12 months from their local council.

Extensions will only be considered if the work to achieve compliance would cause undue hardship to residents if an extension were refused.

Maintenance of fire safety installations

Building fire safety maintenance standards are outlined in QDC MP 6.1—Maintenance of fire safety installations

The code applies to all buildings other than class 1a (houses and townhouses) and class 10a (e.g. garage) buildings.

The code sets:

  • maintenance standards for prescribed fire safety installations under the Building Act 1975, such as
    • sprinklers
    • fire hydrants
    • emergency lifts
    • fire detection and alarm systems.
  • requirements to keep maintenance records, so occupiers, local government or the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service can check compliance with the QDC.

More information

View the:

Last updated 28 March 2018    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright |  Disclaimer |  Privacy |  Right to information |  Accessibility |  Jobs in Queensland |  Other languages

© The State of Queensland – Department of Housing and Public Works 2009–2019

Queensland Government