QLD – Hendry advises building owners, property and body corporate managers within Queensland have legislative obligations with regards to providing each facility with evacuation signs (evacuation diagrams). These are to be displayed onsite at each facility. All evacuation signs should be in an area that is conspicuous and be securely attached to the wall or internal side of a door. The evacuation sign must be securely attached without compromising the integrity of any fire doors or walls in accordance with AS 3745-2010 ‘Planning for emergencies in facilities’.
Under AS 3745, every building must have evacuation diagrams (except Class 1a and Class 10 buildings). An evacuation sign comprises evacuation procedures and an evacuation diagram. An evacuation procedure outlines the process to follow in the event of a fire or hazardous materials emergency. Evacuation diagrams must show the following details:
- The place that corresponds to the place in the building where the diagram is displayed. E.g. ‘You are here’ signage.
- The route from ‘you are here’ location to the nearest exit.
- Each exit of the building.
- Any intercommunication devices in the common areas e.g. Warden Intercommunication Points (WIP).
- The location of manually operated fire alarms e.g. break glass alarms.
- The location of any fire fighting equipment in the building e.g. fire extinguishers and hose reels.
- The designated assembly area for evacuation outside the building.
Locations that Evacuation Diagrams may be installed under AS 3745 to be effective and more conspicuous are:
- At each discharge exit door
- Lift lobbies
- Fire stairwells
- Common areas
The following is an example of an evacuation sign for a factory building:
(Note: that various symbols and indicators in evacuation signs under the BFSR and Queensland Fire and Rescue Service vary to those nominated in AS 3745-2010 ‘Planning for emergencies in facilities’. If the client requested dual compliance with BFSR and AS 3745-2010, then the BFSR symbols would take precedence and then followed by AS 3745-2010 for the symbols – indicators not included in the BFSR).
To ensure that the evacuation signs are conspicuous in these areas they should be a minimum of A3 in size. However, small tenancies and accommodation units may opt for an A4 size evacuation sign/evacuation diagram.
The evacuation signs/ evacuation diagrams must be securely mounted as well as:
- Displayed in a conspicuous position, securely attached to a wall or the internal side of a door orientated in line with the building layout. ‘Orientated’ means the evacuation diagram must be understandable to a person reading the sign and the instructions must be accurate and correspond to the building layout.
- Appropriately located on each evacuation route of the building.
Class 2 buildings with direct exits to a road or open space that do not have common areas (i.e. corridors, stairways or hallways) must have the evacuation signs/evacuation diagrams displayed in line with the mandatory requirements for accommodation units.
Types of accommodation units required to have these evacuation diagrams under AS 3745 include:
- An apartment used by holiday makers
- A serviced apartment
- A room in a guest house, hotel or motel.
Some Class 2 and Class 3 buildings will be required to have both accommodation and general evacuation signs.
Failure to have evacuation signs/evacuation diagrams installed that comply with requirements above will be classed as an infringement of State fire safety legislation (for example Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008) and will incur a monetary penalty.