Safety guides

Find a wide range of Victorian Building Authority (VBA) guides that will help you keep your home or building safe, both inside and out.

Visit Victorian Building Authority's Safety Guide for full details, resources and more guides.

Balconies, decks and balustrades

Homeowners, tenants and property owners should regularly check and maintain any balconies, decks and balustrades. If not properly built and maintained, they have the potential to be a serious safety risk.

If you want to replace or build a new balcony or deck, you must ensure it is designed and constructed legally.

Basketball rings

For help installing and maintaining basketball rings in residential yards. Basketball rings should never be fixed to a free-standing wall or single skin of brickwork. These types of walls are not strong enough to support basketball rings, and the installation may weaken over time and collapse.

Essential safety measures

The fire and life safety items installed within a building are to ensure adequate levels of safety are undertaken over the life of the building for the life safety of the occupants.

These items are listed on the building Occupancy Permit which may include, but not limited to:

  • exit doors and signs
  • emergency lighting 
  • fire extinguishers
  • smoke control systems
  • sprinkler systems. 

Building owners are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of these essential services. 

Council officers may regularly and randomly inspect buildings to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations 2018.

Smoke alarms

Victorian law states that smoke alarms (complying with Australian Standard AS 3786) must be installed in all homes, units, flats and townhouses. It is the legal responsibility of all owners and landlords to install working smoke alarms. 

They must be located between each bedroom area, and on or near the ceiling of every story.

Swimming pools, spas and barriers

Swimming pool and spa owners have a legal obligation to ensure that they maintain the effective operation of swimming pool and spa safety barriers to protect children.

Termites

Termites cause more damage to Australian houses than fire, floods and storms combined, and the damage may not be covered by household insurance. The risk of attack can be reduced by removing tree stumps, roots and off-cuts, and by properly compacting the soil to minimise cracks in concrete slabs.

Before buying a house, we strongly recommend an expert inspects for termite activity.

All new houses, including extensions, built within areas designated to be subjected to termite infestation, must have some form of management against termite attack.

Need help?

If you have any questions or uncertainties, please contact the Building team:

Email: helpbuilding@portphillip.vic.gov.au
Phone: 03 9209 6253
In person: visit the Enquiries Counter at St Kilda Town Hall between 8.30 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday

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