Home' Facility Perspectives : Vol 13 No 1 Contents precincts
an increase in holding events in unusual
locations to create a different experience
interruption to IT and other services – we
are so dependent on systems that this
could cripple one or many aspects of our
lives, bringing us undone.
An example of this last point is
‘ f looding’. In the United States, attacks
have been made on the emergency line
911, with automated systems purposefully
dialling thousands of calls to the number
simultaneously, resulting in the line crashing.
Are we ready to lose 000? What’s our
contingency? What if your organisation
was hacked? What impact would this
have on your portfolio, your clients, your
retailers and your tenants? We are all able to
remember the rule ‘if you see something, say
something’, so we should apply this across all
aspects of safety in facilities management.
Many residential high-rises in Australia
and, of course, in Grenfell in the United
Kingdom, have a complex range of issues
that can result in a fire that can travel along
the building’s external cladding. More
than one factor has been involved in all of
these fire incidents – it’s the overcrowding,
mattresses in stairwells and halls, plastic
wrap over smoke alarms and fire hose reel
cabinets used as extra storage.
Any responsible person – a facilities
manager, a real estate agent, a maintenance
contractor, government or welfare
representatives, a security officer, a police
officer and even residents themselves –
could see that the buildings are not being
maintained appropriately, and they should
‘ Budgets versus safety’ is a huge issue
and the industry faces the big challenge
of getting residents, property managers
and owners to become engaged in any
process of emergency planning or safety
management. It’s as if most people look
through rose-coloured glasses, which makes
things cheaper, but is not going to protect
your people, the asset, yourself or your
If you’re just starting the journey, then
start with the Standard. FMs in Queensland
should keep in mind that the Fire Safety Act
2008 is fire- and evacuation-centric, so this
is not all you need. If you’re further along in
the process, then don’t just look at the past
and be in the present – look to the future.
Principles of emergency management
In 2007, FEMA’s (Federal Emergency
Management Agency’s) Emergency
Management Institute, convened a
working group of emergency management
practitioners and academics to consider the
principles of emergency management.
I had been actively employed in
Emergency Management since 1992 and this
2007 event was the first time the principles
of the discipline were being included. There
were eight principles in total:
Comprehensive: consider and take
into account all hazards, all phases, all
stakeholders and all impacts.
Progressive: anticipate future situations,
and take preventive and preparatory
measures to build disaster-resistant and
Risk-driven: use sound risk management
principles (hazard identification, risk
analysis and impact analysis) in assigning
priorities and resources.
Integrated: ensure unity of effort among
all levels of government and all elements
of a community.
Collaborative: create and sustain
broad and sincere relationships among
individuals and organisations to encourage
trust, support a team atmosphere, build
consensus and facilitate communication.
Coordinated: synchronise the activities
of all relevant stakeholders to achieve a
Flexible: use creative and innovative
approaches in solving challenges.
Professional: value a science- and
knowledge-based approach based on
education, training, experience, ethical
practice, engagement and continuous
We can’t necessarily stop things
happening, but we can try to prevent them
and we can respond appropriately.
Of course we want to stop the incidents,
but emergency planning is about response.
1. What do you need to have in your plans?
2. Have you read them?
3. Do you know that they are correct?
4. Have you communicated them?
5. Have you practised them?
We are all able to remember the rule ‘if you
see something, say something’, so we should
apply this across all aspects of safety in
60 | FACILITY PERSPECTIVES | VOLUME 13 NUMBER 1
SECURITY + SAFETY
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