AS 3745 Planning for Emergencies in Facilities

Planning for Emergencies in Facilities



This Standard was prepared by the Standards Australia Committee FP-017, Emergency  Management Procedures, to supersede AS 3745—2002, Emergency control organization and procedures for buildings, structures and workplaces.

This Standard incorporates Amendment No. 1 (May 2014) and Amendment No. 2   (June 2018). The changes required by the Amendments are indicated in the text by a  marginal bar and amendment number against the clause, note, table, figure or part thereof  affected. 

The objective of this Standard is to enhance the safety of people in facilities, by providing a  framework for emergency planning, utilizing the built facilities as appropriate.

The objective of this revision is to make a greater distinction between emergency plans and  emergency/evacuation procedures. It also includes expanded and revised sections on—

(a) developing the emergency plan;

(b)     the duties of the emergency planning committee (EPC) and emergency control organization (ECO);

(c) provisions for occupants with a disability;

(d) education and training; and

(e) guidance on how to determine the size of the emergency control organization.

Changes have been made to the indemnity clauses affecting members of both the EPC and  the ECO.

Facility owners, managers, occupiers and employers should obtain professional advice on  the level of indemnity provided to EPC and ECO members. The EPC and ECO members  should be advised of the level of indemnity provided.

Where AS 4083, Planning for emergencies—Health care facilities, is used in conjunction  with this Standard, it should be noted that the nomenclature of the ECO personnel is  different for patient or resident occupied areas.

Notes and examples integrated in the text of a document are used for giving additional  information intended to assist the understanding or use of the document. These elements do  not contain requirements or information considered indispensable for the use of the  document.

The term ‘informative’ has been used in this Standard to define the application of the  appendix to which it applies. An ‘informative’ appendix is only for information and  guidance.

1.4.24   Occupant/visitor with a disability 

A person who requires–

(a) more time or different forms of communication, compared with other occupants, to respond to an emergency; or

(b) assistance to respond to an emergency or evacuate from a facility.

For further information see Clause 4.2.11.

1.4.25   Personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP) 

An individualized emergency plan designed for an occupant with a disability who may need  assistance during an emergency.

3.1   GENERAL 

An emergency plan shall be developed and maintained for each facility.

The emergency plan shall document the organizational arrangements, systems, strategies  and procedures relating to the response and management of emergencies. The EPC in  collaboration with the facility owners, managers, occupiers and employers shall determine  which types of emergencies warrant specific emergency response procedures within the  emergency plan (see Clause 3.2).

The EPC, in collaboration with the ECO, the management of the facility and nominated  staff shall participate in the implementation and maintenance of the emergency plan, as  appropriate to their role within the organization.

Maintenance and review of the emergency plan shall be in accordance with Section 8.

(e) Overall control and coordination arrangements for emergency response (see Section 4). This shall include evacuation strategies for occupants with a  disability. 

(f) The agreed roles and responsibilities of the emergency control organization and  occupants of the facility in preparation for, during and after an emergency.


The emergency plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following elements:

(a) A clear statement of purpose and scope.

(b) Information on the structure and purpose of the EPC.

(c) Identification of the facilities to which it applies.

(d) Descriptions of the emergency features (safety, fire and security) of the facility.

(e) The organisational arrangements for the facility.

(f) Separate sections for the following:

(i) The emergency identification outcomes.
(ii) The emergency response procedures, in accordance with Section 4.
(iii) The evacuation diagram, in accordance with Clause 3.5.
(iv) Training arrangements, in accordance with Section 6.
(v) Emergency response exercises, in accordance with Section 7.
(vi) Review and routine servicing, in accordance with Section 8.

(g) A statement of the extent of distribution of the emergency plan or excerpts from the  emergency plan.

(h) A record of distribution, including where personal emergency evacuation plans  (PEEPs) for people with disabilities are held. For example PEEPs should be held by  the relevant warden. 

3.5.6   Optional elements 

The following additional information may be considered by the EPC for inclusion on the  evacuation diagram:

(a) Direction of opening of doors on designated exits.

(b) North.

(c) First aid stations and kits (denoted by a white cross on a green background).

(d) Hazardous chemical store.

(e) Spill response kits.

(f) Emergency information as documented in the emergency plan.

NOTE: For example, emergency telephone numbers, emergency response procedures, fire 
orders, and procedures for use of lifts in an evacuation during a fire emergency (where 
regulatory approval has been obtained). 

(g) [Text deleted]

(h) Specialized evacuation devices, including stairwell evacuation devices, if provided. 

(i) Fire and smoke doors.

(j) Hydrants, which shall be red.

(k) Automatic external defibrillator(s) (AED).

(l) Electrical switchboard location(s).

(m) Solar power isolation point(s).   Communicating the emergency 

The emergency procedures shall address the method of warning and communication to be  used during an emergency.

The needs of occupants and visitors with a disability shall be considered when developing  procedures for emergency warning. This may entail alternative means of communicating  emergency information and warnings.   Occupants and visitors with a disability 

The evacuation arrangements for persons with a disability shall be considered in the  development of the emergency response procedures.   Evacuation options 

The procedures shall address the extent of evacuation from a facility that is necessary for  different types of emergencies. Consideration shall be given to the following evacuation  options, as appropriate to the facility:

(a) Full evacuation   This measure is used to clear a building or facility of all occupants (see Notes 1 and 2).

(b) Partial evacuation   This measure is an alternative to a total evacuation in some buildings such as hospitals, aged care facilities and multi-storey buildings.

NOTE: Partial evacuation may—

(a)      include evacuation into or through smoke and fire compartments;

(b) be used to evacuate individuals closest to a situation and to prevent congestion in the stairways; or

(c) be utilized when evacuation of several floors is sufficient to protect occupants while the hazard is being eliminated, i.e., to move people away from a localized emergency  within a building or facility (see Note 3).

(c) Shelter in place (no evacuation)   This measure is an emergency response option that  allows occupants and visitors to remain inside a facility on the basis that an evacuation to an external-to-building location might reasonably expose evacuating  people to a greater level of danger.

NOTE: Shelter in place (no evacuation) may be the appropriate option in response to threats
to safety, such as lightning storms, severe storms, floods, dust, smoke from adjacent
structures, bushfires or grass fires, air-borne toxic agents, gas leaks or dangerous animals.

(d) Escape, Hide, Tell   Where immediate escape from the facility is not considered
personally safe, then occupants should hide out of sight and remain silent, or
alternatively take other action to protect their safety.

NOTE: For further assistance and the latest information about the Escape, Hide, Tell methodology, see the Australian National Security website ( to access the Australian-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee publication, Active Armed  Offender Guidelines for Crowded Places.

(e) Lockdown   The process of securing a facility (full or partial) or an area to protect its occupants in response to an occurring or imminent threat that may have the potential to cause harm. 

An assessment of the shelter or refuge to determine the suitability and sustainability of the  shelter should be carried out for certain emergencies, where shelter in place option is being  considered.

The success of this strategy will depend, to a large extent, on the degree to which premises  have been prepared. The most appropriate decision will be made after the assessment of all  the available information. Decision-makers should seek and evaluate expert advice  (see Note 4).


1 Full evacuation would normally be carried out in response to a potentially catastrophic, life-

threatening situation or where the building cannot function due to a severe services malfunction.

2 In some buildings, the alarm system is automatically set to the evacuate tone without utilizing an alert tone facility. Emergency response procedures should reflect these situations.

3 Examples of where a partial building evacuation may be carried out include a localized fire, a localized flood, a chemical spill, or a bomb threat specified for a certain area.

4 Numerous situations can occur that make it advisable for those inside a building to remain inside for their own protection. These procedures may be warranted if, for example, an industrial strike action that is taking place outside the building turns violent.

4.2.11   Occupants and visitors with a disability 

When developing emergency response procedures, consideration shall be given to  occupants and visitors who for one reason or another may need assistance or are unlikely to  be able to act optimally in an emergency. This would include but not be limited to  occupants and visitors who— 

(a) are accompanied by an assistant; 

(b) have a guide or companion animal; 

(c) use alternative forms of information and communication; 

(d) have a vision impairment; 

(e) have a hearing impairment; 

(f) have an ambulatory impairment; 

(g) use a wheeled mobility appliance, including wheelchair or scooter; 

(h) are easily fatigued; 

(i) easily experience acute anxiety in an emergency; or 

(j) easily experience extreme confusion in an emergency. 

4.2.15   Refuges 

Refuges are areas where occupants and visitors may wait for their delayed independent  evacuation, or assisted evacuation by Emergency Services or other nominated personnel.

NOTE: Refuges are normally nominated by the relevant certifier.

Occupants who have a disability should be attended in the refuge by another person.

4.2.17   Stairway evacuation device 

Consideration should be given to the use and suitability and storage arrangements of  stairway evacuation devices for people who use wheelchairs or who otherwise would need  to be carried down the stairway.  

NOTE: Any stairway evacuation device should be operated by a competent person


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