Fact Sheets

Following a review of best practice decision making during outdoor hazardous atmospheres, a Best Practice Approach to Shelter-in-Place for Victoria was been developed to provide an effective and expedient response.

The strategy was validated for Australian residential houses under Australian conditions using scientific testing. In this report an outdoor hazardous atmosphere incorporates toxic loads from accidental or deliberate chemical releases, or smoke and products of combustion from fires.



A Protective Action Decision Guide for Emergency Services during Outdoor Hazardous Atmospheres was developed for emergency services to use during outdoor hazardous atmospheres where there may be a risk to public health. This guide details best practice principles for planning and implementing community protective actions during hazardous atmospheres. A standard approach to protective action decision making is provided and includes the recommendation of issuing shelter-in-place (SIP) as a default protective action to avoid potential public exposure, followed by a more detailed analysis process utilising a flow chart.



An atmospheric modelling integration tool was developed to assist first responders in this decision making process. This tool can rapidly identify affected areas as a plume dispersion display on Australian mapping systems. Generated reports provide additional information on potentially affected population demographics and housing data, as well as impacted features of interest (e.g. schools, hospitals, etc.).



A Protective Action Guide for Local Government and Industry during Outdoor Hazardous Atmospheres was also been developed for local government and industry. This guide provides information on a standard approach to community protective actions during hazardous atmospheres. The main purpose of this document is to ensure that local government and industry are using consistent terminology with emergency services when providing public information related to a chemical incident to ensure public confidence and compliance.



Community education templates have been developed using a descriptive catch phrase for the public to implement when instructed to SIP.

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Facts and Features
Safety Tip

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) recommends monthly testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

Its True

Only working Smoke Alarms save lives.

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