Standards Australia produces guidelines on emergency planning

Fire, flood, bomb threat, explosion, active shooter

Fortunately for us here in Australia these are not common place events in our society. Having said that we cannot be complacent and do nothing. We have the opportunity of learning the lessons from recent world events without waiting until we have the experience.

Emergency crews attend blaze

Standards Australia have produced a standard (AS 3745 Planning for emergencies in facilities) to assist building owners and occupiers to help plan for a wide range of contingencies. The scope of the Standard sets out the requirements for the development of procedures for the controlled evacuation of buildings, structures and workplaces during emergencies.

In Australia, planners are encouraged to use an All Hazards approach which uses similar approach for all emergencies with specific additional actions to deal with the type of emergency faced. The types of event may be fire ,flood, bomb threat, explosion or active shooter to name a few. The time to think about how to respond to such events is now in a calm and rational manner; not trying to make it up as the event is taking place.

AS 3745 assists in this process. It encourages those with the responsibility to ask the “what if” questions on a wider range of risks than may immediately come to mind. We can all sleep a little sounder knowing that these guidelines are available to help those tasked with undertaking the planning to protect those within their structures.

Consumer Federation Of Australia (CFA) has a representative on the Standards Australia Technical Committee revising AS 3745:2010 Planning for emergencies in facilities.  The draft standard is currently being prepared for publication.

We all should  have an emergency plan in place at home and at work.  Australian Emergency Management Institute has practical tips to prepare yourself for emergencies. Preparing for the Unexpected – Fifth Edition helps to get you  thinking about what you and your family or household might do in an emergency.

CFA provides volunteer representatives on Standards Australia Technical Committees as part of the CFA Standards Project; if you are interested in finding our more about the Project and/or becoming a volunteer CFA Standards Representative please contact the Standards Coordinator

Photo credit: Kenny Holston