Updated: Jun 16, 2021
Why Digital Evacuation Diagrams?
Innovation is forcing accountability and personal responsibility at every level of life. Digitisation of information is helping us as individuals become more aware of our place in the world, holding us accountable and offering us opportunities daily. PlanStudio from Locatrix, digitises the evacuation diagram – “So what?” I hear you say…. Well, the data collected for the evacuation diagram can be used in various ways beyond fire and emergency evacuation. Once digitised, it becomes information and can be used to better manage building access, enterprise asset management, sensor fault detection, lighting, people movement in-building, emergency response or even automatic reporting for compliance.
But first of all: Evacuation Diagrams? Why do we have them?
Evacuation diagrams are provided to assist with the evacuation from a facility in an emergency. They consist of a pictorial representation of the floor area of the facility and other relevant emergency response information as set out in AS 3745-2010 (Planning for Emergencies in facilities). It is imperative that they are displayed correctly ensuring the occupant looking at the image can easily identify where they are located and how to safely evacuate the building from that point.
Why does a building need Evacuation Diagrams?
AS 3745-2010 is not directly referenced in the model Work Health and Safety Act and Regulation however Regulation 43 of this model requires that a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) at a workplace must ensure that an emergency plan is prepared, maintained, relevant (to the site); and implemented (in the event of an emergency) – the Diagrams are an essential part of the AS 3745 and the communication of basic emergency information for the site.
Locatrix's Software Solution
At Locatrix, we have increased the usability of these documents by transforming them to assets using PlanStudio, this enables users to easily create indoor floor plans which are spatially accurate to the real world. Empowering the building owner/manager, certifier and first responders to have access to one single source of truth as a digital version of the layout of the building including all its relevant safety features, assets and associated data. This assists the viewer in planning for indoors, updating for currency and for better intelligence when operating an evacuation if it is needed in an emergency.
Whenever an Emergency Plan is updated due to a change in policy, building use, management procedure or renovation, it is critical that all aspects of the Emergency Plan incorporate the change and be communicated to all occupants. This is a non-trivial task to manage and often evacuation procedures such as those necessary to accommodate fire engineered solutions get lost with each version change. However, if your Evacuation Diagrams are completed with PlanStudio, the amendments are automated and the Emergency Plan and training methods in PlanSafe update automatically, making it easier to maintain and communicate safety changes to occupants in your building.
PlanSafe is Locatrix’s site specific, interactive online emergency and workplace safety training software. All software including Locatrix’s Emergency Services Platform (ESP) draws data from the input tool PlanStudio which enables certifiers to create current, compliant and accurate evacuation diagrams that can be updated easily by the author.
Keep emergency responders up to date
ESP is a platform available to first responders, granting operational command responders a digital copy of your buildings emergency information in order to assist them in rescue missions should it be necessary. All automatically.
Prior to Locatrix’s three products PlanStudio, PlanSafe and the ESP there was nothing that connected the dots between author, building owner and emergency services. None of them had transparent access to the same information, often they had no information. This results in first responders and occupants facing increased risk during an emergency. This was the problem highlighted in coronial inquiries held for Lindt Café siege and Quakers Hill Nursing Home Fire. This is the problem we solve - the need for floor plans and updated emergency information to be made available to first responders so they can save lives.
Keeping people in buildings safe
Locatrix’s mission and purpose centres around keeping people safe in buildings and this collaboration with certifiers, building owners and emergency services is where we aim to achieve an improvement in public safety.
Requirements for evacuation diagrams as specified under AS 3745-2010 are catered for when using PlanStudio. Our autogenerated templates include all required stipulations, including a key factor in correctly orientating the plan. When performing a site mark-up the author will place on the plan where the evacuation diagram is to be located. Once this is done and saved, the published plan will automatically orientate the evacuation diagram and translate it into PlanSafe for training purposes. The learner will be instructed in the up-to-date information pertinent to their building and the instruction necessary for safe egress from that building.
Other specified requirements under the standard such as symbols, size options for diagrams and other optional information such as location of first aid equipment is also available in the icon library within PlanStudio. Once the mark up is performed by the author, hit the publish sign and the job is done. Within minutes your building has an entire set of high quality, compliant evacuation diagrams. Even better, they are digital and can be made available to first responders and the building owner.
If you a building owner/operator or a PCBU, you are responsible for making sure your evacuation diagrams are up-to-date and on display throughout your building. Penalties for not maintaining your building safety can extend to criminal prosecution. It isn’t worth the risk. Everyone deserves to feel and be safe. Locatrix can help.
But let's not leave it there; as the building owner continues to ask for more benefit for the money they spend with you, why not suggest more digitisation of building information? The ability to build a digital “twin” of the building, one in which the “building procedure manual” is now a working digital model is completely possible. It all begins with the floor plans.
PlanStudio’s ability to provide digital floor plans helps us keep safe but it can also help us better plan our operations and improve our building’s efficiency, capital works budgets and asset management.
All this possible from the most ignored but critical wall hanging in your building. Let us help you extend its use, give it currency and a bigger purpose.
Check with your provider if your plans are created with PlanStudio and find out how you too can get access to indoor floor plans for your building with PlanStudio.