A Guide to the Recent Amendments to AS3745-2010
From May 1, 2014, Amendment 1 of Australian Standard 3745-2010: Planning for Emergencies in Facilities replaces the existing standard of the same name. Before its publishing, the amendment has been in draft review format since mid-2013.
So what are the Amendments to AS3745-2010? Let’s take a look at the major changes, and how they affect you:
The Amendments to AS3745-2010 include:
Emergency Planning Consultants
The Amendments to AS3745-2010 introduces the “Emergency Planning Consultant”. The terms refer to emergency planning specialists with “the knowledge and skill enabling him/her to advise on human behaviour, fire safety systems, evacuation methodology, emergency preparedness and response and the development of an emergency plan”.
A person gains “Emergency Planning Consultant” status through acquiring training, education, qualification and experience relevant to emergency planning.
The Impact on You: Be careful of imposters! The standard makes no reference to the technical level that a person must be to be considered an “Emergency Planning Consultant”. Be sure to ask what qualifications your Emergency Planning Consultant holds. In Queensland, for example, your consultant must hold a valid Fire Safety Advisor (FSA) qualification. The FSA qualification is also best practice outside of Queensland.
Also, consider asking for your consultant’s licenses and experience. The last thing you want to be doing is taking life safety advice from someone who doesn’t have a full understanding of emergency planning. Again in Queensland, for example, businesses and individuals providing emergency planning and fire safety consulting services must be licensed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
Emergency Plans and Emergency Response Procedures
The Amendments to AS3745-2010 documents a few additional elements that the emergency plan should now reference.
Some examples of the changes include:
- a) Inclusion of maintenance and routine servicing requirements of the plan
- b) Broader definitions of emergency features, which now include safety and security considerations in addition to fire safety.
- C) Inclusion of a separate section for the emergency response exercises
The Impact On You: Consider reviewing your emergency plan against the amended standard to ensure that you cover everything that is required.
Remember that the standard lists quite a few strict elements that are required to be included in your emergency plan. If your plan is less than 80 – 100 pages, you probably aren’t covering off everything you need to!
Emergency Evacuation Diagrams and Signs
The requirements for emergency evacuation diagrams and signs have perhaps seen the biggest of changes in the Amendment to AS3745-2010.
- Building specific emergency evacuation procedures should now be included in the diagrams.
- Fire hydrants are no longer a required element within the diagrams and are now optional.
- External elements of the plan (such as landscaping, fences, etc.) should not be included on the diagrams unless they form part of the egress path.
- Larger facilities (such as hospitals, universities and shopping centres) should prepare their diagrams in sections, showing no more than two exits on each section.
- The size requirements of the diagrams have changed. Where only minimum elements are being shown on the diagram, the diagrams must be at least A4 in size, with the floorplan at least 30,000mm2 in size. Where there are also optional elements shown on the diagram, the diagram must be at least A3 in size, with the floorplan component at least 60,000mm2.
- Finally, some the standard’s icons have changed, and they have included a new icon for evacuation devices.
The Impact on You: It is important that you review your emergency evacuation diagrams and signs.
For some, no additional changes will be required to their diagrams, and their diagrams will remain compliant as long as they are regularly reviewed by the EPC. Diagrams prepared by Evac, for example, fall into this category given our best-practice model for preparing diagrams. For others, consider engaging your emergency planning consultants or Fire Safety Consultants to review your existing diagrams against the amended standard.
Occupants and Visitors with a Disability
There has been a significant expansion of the definition of occupants and visitors with a disability in the Amendments to AS3745-2010.
The Impact on You: Review the new definition and ensure all of those people within your organisation that fall into this category have Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (P.E.E.P.s) completed. You can download a free P.E.E.P template here.
The amendment to AS3745-2010 has introduced some interesting changes to evacuation exercises. First, of which, the initial emergency response training for the building may be simulated, to test the procedures and the ECO members. For ongoing activities, all areas of the building must participate in at least one evacuation training each year. These activities must involve an evacuation of the building.
The Impact on You: If your building is already undergoing annual testing of the emergency plans through evacuation exercises, nothing much changes for you. Those who are not already taking part in a yearly evacuation exercise should get in touch with their emergency planning consultants as a priority!
The amended standard implements additional minor changes to those indicated above. You can download the revised standards from the SAI Global store by visiting http://infostore.saiglobal.com.
Australian Standard 3745:2010 (Amendment 1), Distributed by Standards Australia. Available from: http://infostore.saiglobal.com/store/Details.aspx?ProductID=1724114