Safety Regulations

Balcony Maintenance

Property owners have a responsibility to ensure their balconies are safe to use. Balconies need to be inspected on regular bases and maintained to ensure they are at all times structurally sound. 

A guideline has been prepared by the Building Commission for the safe use, inspection and maintenance of balconies.

Energy Efficiency (Commercial, Industrial and Public Buildings)

New provisions are contained in Section J – Energy Efficiency of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) 2007– Volume One.

The primary objective of the requirements is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all new buildings by efficiently using energy. The minimum requirements address the building’s fabric, external glazing, building sealing, air-conditioning and ventilation, lighting and power, and access for maintenance.

Further information can be obtained from the Australian Building Codes Board website.

Energy Efficiency (Domestic Only)

A new dwelling must be designed to meet new energy requirements. Dwellings must have a minimum 5 Star Rating and have a water tank with a minimum storage capacity of 200 Litres connected to sanitary fixtures or solar hot water heating unit. 

Currently dwellings with a timber floor only need to meet a 4-star rating. 

Additional information is contained in the following Building Commission Practice Note.

Essential Safety Measures

An owner of a building or place of public entertainment must ensure that all essential services nominated on an occupancy permit or existing safety features within their buildings are inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with the relevantstandards.

Guide to Standards and Tolerances

A guide has been prepared by the Building Commission to provide the building industry and consumers with information on minimum workmanship standards for new building work.

Safe Installation of Basketball Rings

Basketball rings must be securely installed to prevent collapse during normal use. Where a person can hang from the rings, the rings including the structure supporting the rings must be designed to prevent collapse and injuring a person. More information is available from the Building Commission.

Smoke Alarms

The building regulations require self-contained smoke alarms be installed in all residential buildings, including dwellings within buildings of other non-residential classes. Smoke alarms are mandatory in:

  • Detached houses, row houses, townhouses and villa units
  • Boarding houses and guest houses
  • Buildings containing sole-occupancy units (for example, a block of flats)
  • Backpacker accommodation, residential part of a hotel or motel, residential part of a school, accommodation for the aged, disabled or children
  • A dwelling in a non-residential building

Smoke alarms complying with Australian standard AS 3786-1993 are to be installed to satisfy the regulations. In all new and existing residential buildings, the smoke alarm must be connected directly to mains power and must have a back up battery.

Swimming Pool and Spa Child Safety Barriers

Check our Pool Safety page for information about swimming pool fences and spa safety barriers.