Evacuation Diagrams – Information Bulletin
This document has been developed to provide information in relation to the preparation, location and installation of evacuation diagrams in a facility. Such diagrams are provided to assist with the evacuation of a facility in an emergency. As such, they consist of a pictorial representation of the floor or area of the facility and other relevant emergency response information as set out in AS 3745-2010.
CMG Fire and Safety have identified occurrences of evacuation diagrams that do not satisfy the requirements of AS 3745-2010 in regards to the information they contain, how this information is displayed or both.
AS 3745-2010 and legislation
AS 3745-2010, Planning for emergencies in facilities was published on 25 November 2010 superseding AS 3745—2002, Emergency control organization and procedures for buildings, structures and workplaces. Amendment 1 to AS 3745-2010 was published on 1 May 2014.
The objective of the 2010 edition of AS 3745 was to make a greater distinction between emergency plans and emergency/evacuation procedures. It also includes expanded and revised sections (or paragraphs) covering:
(a) Emergency plans.
(b) Evacuation diagrams.
(c) Emergency Planning Committee (EPC).
(d) Emergency Control Organization (ECO).
(e) Occupants with a disability.
(f) Education and training.
This revision of the Standard has led to greater emphasis on the provision of, or updating of, evacuation diagrams.
AS 3745-2010 is not directly referenced in the model Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations, which have been adopted in all States and Territories (except, at time of publication, Victoria and Western Australia). However, Regulation 43 of these model WH&S Regulations requires a person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace to ensure that an emergency plan is:
• prepared (and meets certain requirements);
• relevant; and
• implemented (in the event of an emergency).
Regulation 43 also outlines the penalties if an emergency plan is not prepared. Both Victoria’s and Western Australia’s legislation has similar requirements although Victoria’s requirements only relate to certain circumstances and facilities.
AS 3745-2010 requirements for evacuation diagrams
AS 3754-2010. These diagrams are intended to provide emergency and evacuation information for occupants and visitors. They should contain concise, clear and appropriate detail to inform occupants and visitors in an emergency.
The following are the key requirements for evacuation diagrams:
• Location (Clause 3.5.2)- Evacuation diagrams shall be displayed where occupants and visitors are able to view them. The Emergency Planning Committee has a role to determine the location and number of evacuation diagrams for a facility.
• Position (Clause 3.5.3) – The evacuation diagram should be positioned at a height not less than 1200 mm and not more than 1600 mm above the floor.
• Orientation (Clause 3.5.4) – Each evacuation diagram shall have the correct orientation with regard to the direction of egress and its location to the ‘YOU ARE HERE’ point. Where an assembly area diagram is included, it shall have the same orientation to the rest of the diagram.
•Minimum elements (Clause 3.5.5) – AS 3745-2010 lists a range of elements which must be included in the evacuation diagram, such as designated exits, fire fighting equipment and the location of where the evacuation diagram is installed within the facility (i.e. the ‘YOU ARE HERE’ location).
•Optional information (Clause 3.5.6) – AS 3745-2010 provides an option to include additional information on the evacuation diagram, such as, other emergency information and equipment. The inclusion of this optional information is to be considered by the Emergency Planning Committee, but is not a mandatory requirement of AS 3745-2010.
• Size (Clause 3.5.7) – The minimum size of an evacuation diagram is A4 (i.e. 210 mm x 297 mm) with a pictorial representation of the floor or area of at least 200 mm x 150 mm or an area of at least 30 000 mm2. However, where any additional information is included—that is, anything in addition to the items listed in clause 3.5.5—the minimum size of the evacuation diagram is A3 (i.e. 297 mm x 420 mm) with a pictorial representation of the floor or area of at least 300 mm x 200 mm or an area of at least 60 000 mm2.
• Symbols (Appendix E) – Appendix E of AS 3745-2010 provides examples of symbols which may be used in evacuation diagrams. It is important to note that Appendix E is an informative appendix. That is, its contents (example symbols) are provided for guidance only and do not need to be followed to comply with AS 3745-2010.
Installation of evacuation diagrams
An emerging trend is the installation of evacuation diagrams to fire doors (e.g. entrance doors to apartments, or hotel rooms, and fire stairs) and also on to smoke doors and fire rated walls. In some cases, the diagram will be an acrylic based sign or in an acrylic based poster frame. In others, it may be in an aluminium poster frame with an acrylic cover.
These signs or poster frames are then installed on the doors using glue, screws or double sided tape. Installation of evacuation diagrams on to a fire or smoke door may contravene the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and the relevant Australian Standards (e.g. AS 1905.1) unless the installation has been either tested or a formal opinion has been obtained in relation to how this fitting impacts on the performance of the fire door or fire wall or smoke door.
For example, the material of the sign or its frame may negatively impact on the door’s integrity (ability to resist the passage of flames and hot gases from one side of the door to the other) or its insulation (ability to maintain a temperature on the surface that is not exposed to the fire below specified limits). Also, the method of installing the sign to the door may have similar negative impacts.
AS 3745-2010 provides clear guidance on the preparation of evacuation diagrams and although this standard is not specifically referenced by legislation, FPA Australia considers it represents best practice for the development and implementation of emergency plans for facilities.
As such, CMG Fire and Safety Services recommends that:
1. Anyone conducting a business or undertaking at a facility should ensure they have evacuation diagrams in accordance with the requirements of AS 3745-2010.
2. Contact CMG Fire and Safety for a no obligation consultation to determine if your evacuation diagrams comply and how we can help your organisation.
Phone: 1300 355 686
Fire Protection Association Australia Technical Advisory Committee for Emergency Planning (TAC/17).