Fire Safety Regulation Breaches at a Kangaroo Point Complex by a Body Corporate Resulted in $21,000 Fine

The Brisbane Magistrates Court fined a Brisbane body corporate $21,000 for 21 fire safety regulation breaches. The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services filed charges against Carlisle after QFES inspectors found a number of violations at its Kangaroo Point Complex.

The Brisbane Magistrates in a decision last August 2018, ordered the Carlisle Community Title Scheme 9233 to pay the fine following legal action filed by QFES. The fire safety regulation breaches included locking a fire door that prevents access to a fire stair on level nine.

The safety breaches pose potential dangers as these blocked the fire escape route of its residents. Access to escape pathways is required and should remain unobstructed.

The QFES issued notices between August 2017 and January 2018 to get the body corporate to fix the problems. Magistrate Anthony Gett criticised Carlisle for not rectifying the breaches relating to evacuation doors fast enough.

The body corporate’s failure to swiftly act and comply puts the residents in danger. Notices issued by QFES should have been the trigger for Carlisle to act faster. Mr Gett said that inattention or ignorance is not a mitigating factor for such violation.

FES Commissioner Katarina Carroll
Photo credit:Queensland Fire and Emergency Services/

“QFES gave Carlisle multiple opportunities to resolve these breaches, which posed a danger to the safety of those living in the apartments,” QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said.

“The body corporate’s decision not to remove a lock from a door on a designated evacuation route on the ninth floor would have prevented a safe and timely escape in an event of a fire.

“Furthermore, insufficient maintenance meant there was a risk a fire could have travelled up the garbage chute and spread to other levels of the building,” Ms Carroll said.

“Building fire safety standards are in place to protect people in the event of an incident, so it is essential body corporates take their responsibilities seriously.”

“QFES has no hesitation prosecuting businesses if that is what it takes to stop them failing to meet their responsibilities,” Ms Carroll concluded.

Carlisle Community Title Scheme pleaded guilty to 21 breaches of the Fire and Emergency Services Act and Building Fire Safety Regulation. A similar offence by a body corporate in Townsville also resulted in a fine of $42,00 last December 2017.