Decorative building

Fire safety tips

Actions you can take now to reduce the risk of fire - image text in bullet points below

  • Ensure smoke alarms are not covered or disconnected.
  • Keep fire doors clear, closed and unlocked at all times.
  • Keep hallways and balconies clear of clutter and rubbish.
  • Make sure you know your building's evacuation plan.
  • Ensure your barbecue is at least 50 cm away from walls, clothing and other materials.
  • Fully extinguish your cigarette – use a heavy, high-sided ashtray made of glass, ceramic or metal.
  • Isolate AC units and ensure clothing and other materials are kept at least 1 metre away.
  • Store gas bottles outside, upright and away from heat sources.

You can find a range of fire safety resources for residents, occupants, owners corporations and building managers of multi-storey buildings on the Cladding resources page.

Fire safety tips for balconies

Follow this important safety advice from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) to help reduce the risk of fires starting and spreading from balconies to exterior walls and adjoining apartments.

Please take the following actions immediately to ensure your safety and prevent property damage.

  • Always store gas bottles outside, upright and away from sources of heat.
  • When using a barbecue, maintain a safe distance of 50 cm from exterior walls, anything else that could burn, and any electrical ignition sources.
  • Smokers should use heavy, high-sided ashtrays (made of glass, ceramic or metal) to prevent them tipping over. Always fully extinguish cigarettes.
  • Remove rubbish, clutter and flammable items from balconies, and keep furniture away from exterior walls.
  • Keep goods, materials and clothes at least 1 metre away from air conditioner units.
  • Keep a dry powder fire extinguisher easily accessible. Use only in case of a small fire and if you feel physically and mentally able.

Who should I speak to about a fire safety concern?

These authorities should be contacted in the following order when reporting a fire safety issue (excluding a fire emergency):
Who you should speak to about a fire concern

  1. owners corporation or rental manager
  2. your local council
  3. fire services.

If you still have concerns, you can contact the VBA on 1300 815 127.

Fire safety tips in English and other languages

Fire safety actions you can implement straight away are available below, and translated into 10 languages.

More information