Fire safety induction program for 24 hour supported accommodation

DHHS is committed to providing safe and secure buildings for staff and clients.

Fire safety training for supported accommodation

Over the past 15 years there have been significant improvements in the engineering and the fire safety systems installed in the department’s residential buildings offering 24 hour supported accommodation (including supported disability accommodation, Out of Home Care and Secure Services).

These improvements have removed the necessity for staff to manage all aspects of a fire situation. The strategy now focuses on Safe Place and Safe People; the safety of people as a first priority is addressed through safe engineering controls, supported through an effective evacuation procedure and allowing the installed equipment to manage any fire. The use of first attack emergency equipment (that is, portable fire extinguishers etc.) by staff is no longer recommended as part of fire and emergency management.

The department’s Fire and emergency preparedness and response procedures and training framework (the Framework) provides a generic framework for the management of fire, emergencies and evacuations in properties owned by the Department of Human Services and in which staff provide supported accommodation services.

Supported accommodation services are properties defined by the department’s 2013 Capital development guidelines - series 7 and includes:

  • 7.3 Secured facilities
  • 7.4 Supported community – based houses (supported disability accommodation)
  • 7.5 Congregate care facilities (Disability Services & Children, Youth and Families)
  • 7.7 Community – based houses (Children, Youth and Families - Out-of-home care)

The Framework document sets minimum standards for documenting or delivering fire and emergency response procedures and training; management structures that should be in place; content of fire, emergency and evacuation procedures; and the training that should be provided.

The department has developed a number of learning resources, skills maintenance resources, and other resources to assist organisations to meet these minimum standards set out in the Framework.

Fire safety learning resources

Fire safety induction program participant manual (word) is available for use by community service organisations. The Manual may be used by staff as part of an induction program, or the content may be incorporated into your organisation’s existing Induction programs.

Fire safety induction program answer manual (word) for use by trainers/managers/organisations.

Emergency Planning Committee participant manual  is available for use by community service organisations. The manual may be used by senior staff as part of an induction program, or the content may be incorporated into your organisation’s existing Induction programs.

Emergency Planning Committee participant workbook (word) is available for use by community service organisations.  

Emergency Planning Committee answer manual (word) for use by staff/ trainers/ managers/ organisations.

Note: Department of Health and Human Services staff should now access Fire Safety eLearning programs via the department’s internal eLearning portal.

Skills maintenance resources

To enable staff to maintain fire safety skills, a number of skills maintenance activities are required.

Fire safety orientation checklist (word) is completed by a staff member on their first shift at a new location)

Fire safety equipment weekly checklist (word) is to be completed by every staff member (apart from casual staff) at least once every 12 months. Completing the weekly checklist also supports compliance and safety maintenance for fire equipment installed in the facility. Casual staff may participate if they wish.

Fire and evacuation exercise (word) is to be performed either during the day and/or at night, so that every staff member participates in at least 1 exercise every 12 months. The exercise may be conducted as table-top, tactical or field exercises. Casual staff may participate if they wish.