Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 - Queensland


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;
  • the framework for management of Queensland Fire and Emergency Service and the State Emergency Service;
  • the prevention of and responses to fires and other emergency incidents; and
  • rescue services and operations

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 the powers of Authorised Fire Officers; Investigation Officers; and Authorised Rescue 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.
  • Establishes a regime for installation and maintenance of smoke alarms for domestic dwellings.
  • Regulates the maintenance of fire safety systems in Queensland buildings. Establishes the emergency management 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 provide information concerning the dangerous goods, and lodge and obtain approval for a dangerous goods Off-site Emergency Plan.
  • The occupier of a building must maintain the means of escape and prescribed fire safety installations, including monitored systems to keep unwanted alarms signals to a minimum.
  • The occupier of a building must provide a fire and evacuation plan and adequate instructions to prescribed persons to enable action to ensure their safety.
  • Owners of budget accommodation are required to prepare and ensure their safety management plans are up to date.
  • Owners of domestic dwellings are required to install prescribed smoke alarms in accordance with requirements and criteria described.

The following Subordinate Legislation should be examined

  • Fire and Emergency Services Regulation 2011
  • Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008

Service type

Regulatory Obligation

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

Lodgement process


Qualified Queensland Fire and Emergency Service officers carry out regular inspections to monitor and enforce the requirements of the Act. On the spot fines can be issued for breaches as indicated in the Act.

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.

In addition, an occupier responsible for a monitored alarm system may be liable to pay amounts charged for unwanted alarm attendance by QFES, as determined by the Commissioner.

Appeal process


Decisions of the Commissioner are subject to judicial review. and the Act also allows for a number of appeal mechanisms.

Administering agency

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES)

Community Safety

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES)

Mailing address: GPO BOX 1425
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Phone: 07 3635 1500