Internal emergencies can arise due to certain building system failures, structural concerns and/or service failures. Such incidents can cause major disruption and inconvenience to the premises which can lead to a greater risk to the welfare of staff, volunteers, or guests.

Initial Emergency Action

  • Quickly assess the situation
  • If an immediately dangerous situation, raise the alarm verbally or by ‘break glass alarm’, notify staff member or warden, or call Emergency Services on 000
  • Rescue persons from immediate danger/within the vicinity of the fire, if safe to do so
  • Evacuate (if necessary)
  • Assist and guide other people
  • Take care to move people away from danger

More Information

Types of Emergencies
  • Explosion
  • Electrical power failure
  • Persons trapped in lifts
  • Water supply failure
  • Structural failure
  • Spillage or leakage of hazardous substances
  • Illegal occupancy
Gas Leak

The properties of natural gas are lighter than air and will dissipate into the atmosphere in the unlikely event of a leak outside your building.

If the leak is within your building the situation is much more serious. Natural gas has an added odorant to ensure quick detection in case of a gas leak.

Emergency Action

  • If you smell gas, withdraw from the area immediately
  • Report the leak to a Warden or Chief Warden and contact the Gas Company to respond and isolate gas supply
  • Do not induce a spark in any way, operate electrical switches or use a mobile phone as it may cause the gas to ignite
  • Remove any persons from immediate danger if safe to do so
  • Turn off gas at source if possible
  • Evacuate the area and building if required
Water Leaks or Flooding

Floods caused by domestic systems usually do not endanger people but can cause extensive damage to buildings and equipment. Floods caused by the overflow of stormwater drains, creeks, rivers and streams, are extremely dangerous and may require the evacuation of buildings.

Emergency Action

  • Flood waters pose numbers hazards including
    • Water contamination (chemicals, sewerage etc.)
    • Floating or semi-submerged objects
    • Water depth – it may not be obvious how deep the water is and there may be uncovered access pits, stairwells etc.
    • The water may be electrified
  • Turn off water at source if possible
  • Isolate electrical sources if possible
  • If available and considered useful, local spill kits should be used to restrict the flow of water
  • Isolate area by closing doors
  • Consider evacuation
  • Partial evacuation through word of mouth
  • Building evacuation
  • Don’t move people from safety to danger! Flood waters are unsafe and evacuees should not walk through water

An explosion is caused by a rapid expansion of gas from chemical reactions or incendiary devices. Signs of an explosion may be a very loud noise or series of noises and vibrations, fire, heat or smoke, falling glass or debris, or building damage. Untrained persons should not attempt to rescue people who are inside a collapsed building. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive.

Emergency Action

  • Evacuate as quickly and calmly as possible
  • Raise the alarm and contact Emergency Services if people have been injured
  • If items are falling off bookshelves or from the ceiling, get under a sturdy table or desk
  • If there is a fire, stay low to the floor and exit the building as quickly as possible
  • If you are trapped in debris, tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are
  • Assist others in exiting the building and move to designated assembly areas.
  • Keep roadways and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews
Severe Weather Event

Of all the natural hazards, severe storms cause the most damage the most often. They can occur at any time but are more numbers in spring and summer. Severe storms may be land gales (continuous winds of 62km/h or more) or thunderstorms with damaging winds, intense rain, large hail or even tornadoes

Emergency Action

  • Secure, or store all loose items such as play equipment, furniture and rubbish bins
  • Secure windows (close curtains and blinds) and external doors. If necessary, tape windows and glass entrances. Utilise boards and sandbags if required
  • Stay indoors and away from windows
  • Restrict the use of telephone landlines to emergency calls only
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for official warning/advice
  • After the storm, check for any damage or stability issues with buildings and trees and clear away debris
Chemical Spill

Chemical spills should only be cleaned by knowledgeable and experiences personnel. Spill kits with instructions, absorbent, reactants, and protective equipment should be available to clean up minor spills. A minor chemical spill is on that a knowledgeable person is capable of handling safely without the assistance of safety and emergency personnel. All other chemical spills are considered major

Emergency Action for a major chemical spill

  • If a substantial spill is uncontrolled or unable to be isolated, withdraw immediately and contact Emergency Services – dial 000
  • Report the spill to a staff member or warden – Warden to assess the severity of the spill
  • If possible and safe to do so, isolate the spill. Warden to clean up spill as per SDS instructions and using specified PPE if safe to do so
  • Remove any persons from immediate danger and keep others away, if safe to do so.
  • Contact relevant specialist advisors from the supplier
  • Initiate an evacuation if the following are present:
    • Uncontrolled open flame
    • Uncontrolled compressed gas release
    • Any situation which poses imminent threat to human health or safety

Over long periods of time, stresses within the earth build up until the strength of the rock is exceeded and the stress is released, resulting in intense shaking called an Earthquake. If the shaking is intense enough, structures like buildings can be severely damaged and stacked objects can fall and injury or bury anyone close by. Most Earthquakes have no warning and can last for seconds or longer.

During the Earthquake

  • Call 000 if Emergency Services are needed and seek and follow advice.
  • Do not use lifts
  • In crowded areas do not rush for doors. Move clear of overhead fittings and shelves.
  • If outside, DROP, COVER, and HOLD
    • DROP to the ground
    • Take COVER by covering your head and neck with arms and hands
    • HOLD on until the shaking stops

After the Earthquake

  • Watch for hazards
  • Turn off electricity, gas, water; do not light matches until you have checked for gas or fuel leaks
  • Check for injuries and apply first aid as necessary. Do not move the seriously injured unless in immediate danger
  • Avoid using the telephone immediately unless there is a serious injury or fire, to avoid congestion
  • Check for building damage
  • Evacuate if badly damaged and be prepared for aftershocks
  • Do not waste food and water as supplies may be interrupted – collect emergency water from heaters, ice cubes, toilet tanks and canned food
  • Listen to local radio for warnings and advice
  • Keep roads clear unless in an emergency
  • Stay calm and help others if possible
Building Damage

Construction works, renovations, general maintenance or accidents may cause building damage. The damage may be substantial in some cases and occupants may find themselves in a similar situation as those in Earthquakes or severe storms or an explosion.

In minor situations the building may need to be inspected by engineers and maintenance staff to ensure it is safe to continue working in or around it.

Emergency Action

  • Raise the alarm by notifying staff, or members of the ECO
  • Turn off electricity, gas, water and do not light matches until you have checked for gas or fuel leaks
  • Check for injuries and apply first aid as necessary. Do not move the seriously injured unless in immediate danger
  • Check for broken water, sewerage, or electrical mains
  • Check for cracks/damage, in roof, walls, chimneys etc
  • Stay calm and help others if possible
Power Outage or Blackout

Power outages are not generally considered emergencies, however there are certain cases where swift action can prevent further damage and injury.

Emergency Action

  • Communication is important – if your area or building has lost power, inform a warden or the Chief Warden
  • Consider evacuation if blackout lasts for an extended time
  • Switch off all electrical appliances, especially those that have heating elements
  • Unplug ‘surge-sensitive’ equipment, such as computers and video recorders
  • Keep one light switch turned on so you know when the power returns
  • Turn on a battery-operated radio and listen to a local radio station for information if everyone has lost power
  • Use battery-operated phone to call power supply company to report blackout and find out additional information
Electrical Incident

Electricity accidents are common and are often not avoidable when working with any type of electrical equipment. Accidents or incidents can occur from a number of causes, including uninsulated electrical wiring, inadequate training and information, or the poor maintenance of equipment.

Emergency Action

  • In the event of an electrical incident, isolate power or electrical equipment if safe to do so and keep people away from the area
  • Be aware of live electrical current
  • Contact an electrician or your power company to assist with the isolation or repair of electrical system
  • Evacuate in an orderly fashion to the nominated Assembly Area, following the normal evacuation procedure
Vehicle Incident Onsite
  • Road safety is the responsibility of all road users including motorists, cyclists, pedestrians
  • Prevent vehicle incidents through being always being vigilant and aware of motorists and pedestrians. Never assume the pedestrian or motorist has seen you
  • Consider whether traffic control measures may be appropriate at times to reduce risks of incident

Emergency Action

  • Immediately raise the alarm and notify a staff member or Warden
  • Contact Emergency Services – dial 000
  • Do not approach vehicle or injured person unless safe to do and there is no present danger
  • Remove any persons in immediate danger and keep others away if safe to do so.
  • Administer first aid if trained and it is safe to do so