How to ensure your emergency evacuation diagrams are compliant
An absolutely vital part of your emergency management plan is your emergency evacuation diagrams. This extremely important document ensures that all occupants can quickly and easily get the information they need to safely evacuate in the event of an emergency.
Due to being such an important document, the AS3745:2010 compliance framework outlines the key components that must be included in the plan. These include:; evacuation procedures, locations & directions of the nearest emergency exits, fire equipment, assembly areas, emergency contact details and more.
In this post we will be discussing exactly what is required to make an emergency evacuation plan compliant, so that you can be assured if your current plans require an update.
All emergency evacuation diagrams must be placed within your facility where occupants and visitors are able to easily view the diagrams. However, there are some exceptions:
- It’s important to make sure your diagrams are not attached to fire doors, smoke doors or other fire-resistant elements of your sites construction.
- The exact locations of these diagrams are determined by the EPC of your facility or site. It is their responsibility to make sure that these diagrams are always visible, and not obstructed from view.
Although exact locations are not set in stone, how your diagrams are displayed is defined. Diagrams must be positioned with the bottom edge of the diagram at minimum 1.2 meters above the floor or 1.6 meters above the pane of the finished floor.
Number of diagrams:
The number of diagrams that are required are not exactly set in stone in AS3745:2010 and EPC members are responsible for deciding how many diagrams are required in your facility.
What is most important is making sure that a diagram can be easily viewed by occupants wherever they are, in the event of an emergency.
Due to the lay out of emergency evacuation diagrams, the orientation of the plan can be vital in ensuring occupant safety.
As such AS3745:2010 specifies that diagrams must have the correct orientation when displayed, with regard to the direction of emergency exits and the location of the ‘YOU ARE HERE’ point.
The size of your emergency evacuation diagrams is vital to ensuring that it can be seen easily by occupants during emergency. AS3745:2010 outlines two required sizes depending on the contents of your diagram:
A) Diagrams contain only required elements
- Minimum size = A4 (210mm x 297 mm)
- Representation of floor area = 200mm x 150mm
B) Diagrams contain required elements & optional elements:
- Minimum size = A3 (297mm x 420mm)
- Representation of floor area = 300mm x 200mm
The visual design of the diagram must be a pictorial representation of the floor or area of the site which the diagram has been placed in. An example can be seen below:
If we take a closer look at the above example, we can see a number of key elements which are included;
- The title ‘Evacuation Diagram’ in all capitals
- A representation of ‘You Are Here’, which gives an occupant an understanding of where they are exactly
- All of the designated exits which are located in that area or floor of the facility, colour coded in green
- All communications equipment in the facility, and their locations
- Locations of all hose reels, fire extinguishers & fire blankets, colour coded in red
- Locations of fire indicator panels, which is an early detection & warning system designed to communicate evacuation directions to occupants
- The validity date of the diagram, which expires 5 years after it has been created
- Locations of assembly area(s) which can either be shown visually, or simply described in words
- The legend containing all symbols used in the diagram
- Paths of acceptable travel, colour coded in green
- The sites address, postcode, access street location, nearest cross street and name
- Any changes to the above in the facility, must be updated in the diagram
Additional Optional Elements:
As we can see, there is already a lot of information that is required to be in you evacuation plans to ensure they are compliant. However, that is not all of the information which could be contained in your diagrams.
If your sites EPC decides any of these items are relevant, your diagrams may also contain;
- Direction of opening doors
- First aid stations and kits, colour coded by a green & white cross
- Emergency information as documented in the emergency plan
- Fire and smoke doors
- Fire hydrants, colour coded in red
- Automatic external defibrillators (AED)
- Electrical switchboard locations
The AS3745:2010 framework outlines a wide assortment of requirements to ensure that emergency evacuation diagrams are compliant. It can be easy to overlook these details, however they are absolutely vital in ensuring that occupants are safe during the high-pressure experienced in emergencies.
By placing compliant diagrams around your facility, you ensure safe evacuation procedures are clearly laid out for anyone at your site. Our emergency evacuation diagrams are uniquely handcrafted by our team of expert designers, to ensure clear compliant for your organisation.