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Emergency Evacuation Plans
If you are the owner, manager or operator of a facility; that is any building or workplace that may have occupants or visitors, you are required to have an emergency evacuation plan in place.
Your evacuation plan must comply with the Work Health & Safety Regulation 2011 & could result in fines up to $30,000 for failure to adhere.
What makes up a fire evacuation plan?
There are 3 main factors that make up an effective fire evacuation plan
Evacuation diagrams are essential to any fire evacuation plan. They are often situated throughout common areas and general paths of travel in areas where they are easily seen.
These diagrams show vital information that is essential in case of emergency. In accordance with AS3745 they must at a minimum show the fire equipment, designated exit points, emergency assembly points & evacuation routes.
The total quantity of evacuation diagrams will be established by the Emergency Planning Committee, also known as the EPC.
Emergency Response Plan
Emergency Response Plans contain all information relating to the facilities emergency plan.
All roles & responsibilities of staff will be listed here as well as emergency phone numbers, potential risks for the workplace, emergency procedures & other vital information.
All members of the EPC must be well rehearsed with their duties in accordance with the emergency response plan.
Regular training must be conducted to ensure all relevant staff are familiar with their roles & able to confidently perform should an emergency situation occur.
Training may include activities for pre & post emergency, training using first-attack fire equipment, fire drills or simulations for visitors or occupants who may be disabled or have mobility restrictions.
Evacuation Diagrams must be visibly displayed throughout your workplace as part of your emergency evacuation plan. This is essential in case of a fire or emergency and may prove the difference between life or death.
This is a requirement in accordance with AS3745 – Planning for emergencies in facilities and failure to comply may result in penalties up to $30,000.
The Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) is responsible for ensuring your sites evacuation diagrams are up to date & have all the required information.
Queensland requirements vary slightly to other states; the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 must be followed. Depending on the size & nature of your building a Fire Safety Advisor (FSA) may need to be engaged.
If you need more information regarding these requirements you can Contact Us for more information.
What are the requirements for Evacuation Diagrams?
AS3745–2010 lists the requirements for evacuation diagrams
Minimum Elements as per Clause 3.5.5:
- Validity dates
- Site address & name of facility if applicable
- A symbol legend in accordance with the diagram
- Designated exit points of the building
- Evacuation routes
- First-attack fire equipment – extinguishers, fire blankets, hose reels etc.
- Emergency Assembly Area either in words or pictorial representation
- The “You Are Here” location
- Fire Indicator Panel (FIP)
Optional Elements as per Clause 3.5.6
- Fire Hydrants
- Electrical Distribution Boards
- North Direction
- First Aid Kits or Defibrillators
- Emergency information – phone numbers, evacuation procedures etc.
- Door directions for designated exits
Who is responsible for them?
The PCBU, that is the ‘Persons conducting a business or undertaking’ is responsible in ensuring Evacuation Diagrams are visibly displayed throughout your workplace.
This could be an individual or an organisation, some examples may be:
- A builder or site manager
- A retail manager
- Anybody who is self employed running their own business
- School principal or staff
- A warehouse or store manager
- The operator of a franchise fast food outlet
Evacuation Diagrams are required to be orientated in relation to each You Are Here. Depending on the wall it will be mounted will determine the orientation for that particular diagram. The site plan showing the emergency assembly area must always match the floor plan.
You must have Evacuation Diagrams installed throughout the common paths of travel. In accordance with AS3745 they must be located so that they are easy visible to occupants & visitors.
The total quantity of Evacuation Diagrams required will be allocated by the Emergency Planning Committee (EPC).
Each Evacuation Diagram must be no smaller than A4 and must have a minimum floor plan size of 150mm x 200mm or 30,000m².
For any diagram that consists of optional elements in addition to the minimum requirements then it must be no smaller than A3 and must have a minimum floor plan size of 200mm x 300mm or 60,000m².
Other important information
When installing your diagrams you must ensure that there is no less than 1200mm to the bottom & no more than 1600mm to the top from the finished floor level.
Evacuation Diagrams can be produced in numerous ways – laminating & framing being the most common.
What is the cost for Evacuation Diagrams?
We provide Evacuation Diagrams starting from as low as $100. The amount of work involved will vary depending on several factors – is a site inspection required? What type of finish are you after?
Do you operate Australia wide?
Yes we do. From major cities to rural towns we cover all states & territories.
Do you provide site inspections?
Yes. However, if you are able to provide the information required we may not need to. We can work with you to establish the best solution for your business.
How long are my evacuation diagrams valid?
Evacuation diagrams are valid for 5 years or until any renovations or changes to the business have been implemented. In QLD this is different, you can contact us for Queensland requirements.
In what format will my Evacuation Diagrams be provided?
Depending on your needs we can offer many different options – Laminated Paper, Snap-lock Frames, Aluminium Composite Material, Acrylic & more.
Not sure where to start?
Fire Block Plans have specialised consultants who can assist you and your team in developing an effective emergency response plan for your workplace.
Emergency Response Plans
An Emergency Response Plan is a document containing vital information in case of fire or other emergency.
An effective emergency response plan paired with evacuation diagrams & ongoing training makes for an extremely effective evacuation plan and may be the difference between life & death should an emergency occur. If your workplace does not consist of an up-to-date emergency response plan you as the owner or manager could be subject to fines up to $30,000.
Emergency Response Plan
Where do we start?
When developing an emergency response plan for your workplace you must first establish an Emergency Control Organisation (ECO).
The ECO is made up of the staff that will perform specific duties during an emergency situation. This may include First Aid Officers, Chief Warden, Floor Wardens, Emergency Co-ordinators, Communications officers, etc.
The Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) is responsible for establishing the potential risks for the facility & documenting strategies for each. Many factors may influence the types of risks for your premises, just a few possible scenarios could be:
- Medical Emergency
- Terrorism or armed robbery
- Chemical spill
- Hold up/security threat
- Bushfire or building fire
- Bomb threat
- Other natural disaster
In addition to the possible threats and strategies the following may also be part of your written emergency response plan:
- Contact details for emergency & utility services
- Warden & other ECO member details
- Written Evacuation Procedures
- First attack firefighting equipment information & instructions
- The Evacuation Diagrams for the facility
- Emergency Assembly Area location
As each workplace varies it is imperative that your site is individually assessed to ensure the correct emergency response plan is designed for your business. If your workplace may contain an individual or individuals that may require additional assistance in case of an emergency you may require a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) to be developed.
What is an Emergency Planning Committee (EPC)?
It is the EPC’s responsibility to ensure an effective emergency evacuation plan is in place and is regularly maintained.
What is an Emergency Control Organisation (ECO)?
An ECO are the persons allocated roles & responsibilities to fulfil in case of a fire or emergency. These may include Wardens, First Aid Officers etc.
How often should I review my Emergency Response Plan?
Your Emergency Response Plan must be reviewed each year in accordance with AS1851. You should also review your emergency procedures after any changes to the business including renovations or whenever an incident has occurred.
Emergency Response Training
Emergency response training is arguably the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to emergency evacuation planning.
In the event of an emergency panic sets in which is why it is vital that staff are trained and familiar in their roles & responsibilities prior to an emergency.
In accordance with AS3745 emergency training should be conducted for:
- The Emergency Planning Committee (at least 1 member)
- The Emergency Control Organisation
- For occupants and visitors of the facility
The types of training required will vary between different workplaces however the frequency of training should be in accordance with AS3745:
Emergency Response Training
Where do we start?
Occupants Skills Retention Training – No more than 12 months apart:
This activity will ensure occupants are familiar with the members of the ECO & are aware of the sites evacuation procedures. It should also address responding to alarms and reporting of any emergencies.
First-attack firefighting equipment training – No more than 2 years apart:
If first-attack firefighting equipment forms part of your emergency procedures the relevant occupants must attend a skills retention activity.
Emergency Response Training – No more than 12 months apart
If an Emergency Response Team (ERT) has been deemed a necessity, the members of the ERT must perform skills retention in their allocated duties.
Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) Skills Retention Training – No more than 6 months apart
The exact ECO training will be outline by the Emergency Planning Committee based on the facilities emergency response plan & procedures. The roles & responsibilities of the ECO must be rehearsed and this may include demonstrating using the sites communications system (if applicable).
Emergency Response Rehearsals (fire drills) – No more than 12 months apart
Site specific emergency response exercises must be developed to ensure the emergency plan in place is practical & effective.
Once the initial emergency procedures have been developed a fire drill must be completed within a 12-month period. All areas of a facility must then participate in at least one emergency response exercise with a simulation evacuation each year. All occupants of the area or floor must be involved unless the EPC grants a written exemption.
Emergency Response Training
What colours should the members of our ECO wear?
Chief Warden, Communications Officers & Emergency co-ordinators
Area or Floor Warden
First Aid Officers
How many fire wardens should we have at our facility?
Whilst there is no rule in place 2 fire wardens per 20 occupants is common practice. This will cover if 1 of the wardens is unavailable.
Less than 50% of building occupants feel confident of knowing what action to take and where to evacuate to during an emergency.
Less than 25% of people when randomly tested can locate their nearest fire extinguisher from memory without searching the building.
Evacuation diagrams are critical to your safety plan
Not only is it a legal requirement to have a regularly updated evacuation plan, it is also important for keeping people and property safe.
An effective emergency plan can prevent injuries, loss of life, damage to property and reduce interruptions to your business, offering valuable peace of mind in an emergency.
AS 3745-2010 is the Australian Standard for planning for emergencies. It was developed as a best practice guide for building safety and provides a framework for emergency procedures.
Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA)
The FPAA states that:
Anyone conducting a business or undertaking business at a facility should ensure they have evacuation diagrams in accordance with the requirements of AS 3745-2010.
Fire Block Plans design emergency evacuation plans & diagrams to comply with these standards, ensuring the fastest and most effective evacuation solution possible for your facility.
Their communication with all our site managers was excellent, ensuring we were aware of any inspection dates. The diagrams look extremely professional and were completed in a timely manner Our experience with Fire Block Plans was terrific and we highly recommend them for anyone needing evacuation diagrams.
We found Fire Block Plans through a google search whilst looking for a company that could provide evacuation diagrams in the ACT. The communication was great from start to finish which really helped with our tight deadline. After they visited our site they proceeded to design the drawings in around 4 business days. There were no changes required & the diagrams were installed 2 days later! Very impressed with their works & highly recommend Fire Block Plans for anyone needing evacuation diagrams.
I am currently based as a building manager, within a premium asset in Melbourne that required upgrades to our site Evacuation plans. Due to works from a previous contract not being sufficient and non conformed. I sourced Fire Block Plans. Gordon was very responsive and helped us with the current design and layout for our complex with the final signs that had been missing. Great service and cost saving approach to help us out. Highly recommended and will consider in future sites.
Do you have a solid evacuation plan?
Fire Block Plans will work with you to design an emergency evacuation plan that fits your business – ensuring compliance with all relevant Australian Standards and maximising safety. For more information, contact us today.