Classification certificates provide safety
  • Friday 08 August 2008

Fire and rescue officers will be on safer ground when entering commercial buildings thanks to a new building regulation which makes it compulsory for building owners to display their certificate of classification.

The change to the Queensland Building Act 1975, has made it compulsory for all commercial building owners, including everything from unit blocks to shopping centres, to display the certificate in a prominent place near the building’s entrance.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Building Approval Officer, Neil Smith, said the certificates provide information - from which exit doors are unlocked at particular times of the day to how hazardous material is stored - that could help save lives.

“The aim of the legislation is to improve the health and safety of both emergency service staff and the general public,” Mr Smith said.

“By displaying the certificate in a prominent place, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service is provided with critical information about that building before its officers enter.

“The display is a small ask for what will give the fire fighter a greater understanding of the building during an emergency and hopefully save lives.”

Council’s Statutory and Regional Planning Portfolio holder, Russell Green, said the Council had joined Queensland Fire and Rescue Authority to help educate the community about the change to the Act.

“Those certificates are issued for a reason – to provide information about any restrictions or performance based solutions in any particular building,” Cr Green said.

“By displaying them correctly, those certificates could save lives.”

The Sunshine Coast Council and private building certifiers issue the certificate as part of the building approval process. The change to the Act refers to certificates (other than class 1a) issued on or after 1 July 1997.

Building owners have until 23 April 2009 to comply with the new regulation. So, if this regulation applies to you but you do not have or cannot find your certificate of classification, or you want to find out more, contact your local office of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.