Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 - Queensland

Service summary

Object or Purpose of this legislative Instrument:

The Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 provides for the establishment of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service and to provide for the prevention of and response to fires and certain other incidents endangering persons, property or the environment and for related purposes.

Scope of this legislative Instrument:

  • establishes the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, prescribes the functions of the Commissioner and the Chief Executive and details the administrative arrangements regulating the service and its personnel.
  • establishes two Ministerial advisory Councils: the Emergency Services Advisory Council and Rural Fire Advisory Council.
  • establishes the powers of Authorised Fire Officers.
  • establishes a regime for the control and prevention of fires, including a fire permit system, fire wardens, rural fire brigades, enforcement notices and fire emergency powers.
  • regulates the maintenance of fire safety systems in Queensland buildings other than domestic dwellings.
  • establishes fire levy and general charging arrangements.

Provisions relating to business include:

  • the Act stipulates the conditions under which a person may light a fire in the open and requires that the person make application for a permit to burn (certain exemptions exist).
  • under certain circumstances where dangerous goods are being stored the Commissioner, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service may require the occupier of premises to lodge and obtain approval for a Dangerous Goods Off site Emergency Plan.
  • the occupier of a building must maintain the means of escape, prescribed fire safety installations and provide a fire and evacuation plan and staff training.

The following Subordinate Legislation should be examined

  • Fire and Rescue Service Regulation 2001
  • Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008
  • Fire Service Act Requisition (no. 1) 1993, contained in Gazette Notice 59/1993, 18 June 1993, page 972 (this requisition contains requirements for the storage, in the open, of more than 500 scrap tyres)
  • Notification pursuant to section 63 of the Fire and Emergency Service Act 1990, contained in Gazette Notice No. 72/2004, 6 August 2004, page 1074 (relates to fires that can be lit without a permit).

The following Guides or Booklets are available:

Guidelines for Fire Safety in Health Care Buildings

Service type

Regulatory Obligation

An obligation defined in law. A business must comply with relevant services.

Definition of terms


any land or building.

Prescribed fire safety installations

any fire safety equipment that was at any time, under any legislation or condition of approval, required to be maintained in a building and as outlined in the Building Act 1975.



Queensland Fire and Rescue Service officers carry out regular inspections to monitor and enforce the requirements of the Act. On the spot fines can be issued for safety breaches.

The Commissioner may issue Notices to Comply containing requisitions to reduce the risk of fire or potential danger to persons, property or the environment

The Commissioner may also take action in the Supreme Court to obtain an injunction to prohibit or restrict the use of a building until the risk that presented the threat of fire has been removed.

The Act defines offences, provides penalty points for breaches and allows prosecution through the courts.

Prosecution may result in heavy fines or imprisonment.


Appeal process


An appeal may be made to the Commissioner against a decision to prohibit the lighting of fires or against fire levies issued by Local Government

Decisions of the Commissioner are subject to judicial review

A person may object to a Notice to Comply or a Requisition by Commissioner and appeal to a panel of referees in the first instance. A further appeal may be made to the Magistrates Court.

Administering agency

Department of Community Safety
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES)
Executive Support

Contact details

Department of Community Safety
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES)
Executive Support

Mailing address:
GPO Box 1425
Queensland 4001


07 3247 8100


07 3247 8110

Supporting information


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