Emergency plans in residential parks

All park owners must now have an emergency plan in place for each residential park (from 1 September 2019).

Writing your emergency plan

An emergency plan helps to ensure the safety of all park residents in an emergency. An emergency may include:

  • a fire at the park
  • severe weather event
  • chemical spill
  • a situation where other safety measures are required at the park.

Write your emergency plan in a way that is easy to understand for all residents – both short stay and long-term. The emergency plan must include:

  • emergency procedures
  • testing of the emergency procedures, including the frequency of testing
  • information, training and instructions for home owners and other park residents about implementing the emergency procedures
  • assembly area where home owners and other residents of the park must evacuate to in the event of an emergency.

These are the minimum requirements for emergency procedures. You may also include additional procedures relevant to your residential park.

Consider including a site map in the emergency plan to show the location where home owners and residents will need to assemble during an evacuation.

You need to prepare, maintain and implement an emergency plan, in addition to your existing obligations, to ensure the safety of home owners and other residents in the event of a fire or hazardous materials emergency.

Read more about your obligations under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.

Emergency procedures

You need to provide procedures to follow in an emergency, including:

  • ensuring an effective response to an emergency
  • evacuating home owners and other park residents
  • notifying emergency service organisations at the earliest opportunity
  • arranging for medical treatment and assistance
  • ensuring effective communication between the person authorised by the park owner to coordinate the emergency response and the home owners, and other park residents.

The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) and the Queensland Police Service (QPS) are emergency service organisations for the purposes of the emergency plan.

An effective response to an emergency depends on the type of emergency and may not always require an evacuation. However, the plan must contain procedures for evacuating home owners and other residents.

QFES suggests the emergency plan also include procedures for evacuating home owners and other residents with specific needs (e.g. mobility problems or cognitive issues), who may need assistance to evacuate in the event of an emergency.

The plan should also detail what assistance needs to be provided to emergency service organisations during an evacuation or emergency.

Emergency access

You need to ensure that emergency vehicles have access to the park in an emergency, unless you have a reasonable excuse. Include information about how emergency service organisations can access the park if there is an emergency.

Keep other relevant information with the plan, including how to notify local emergency service organisations if access to the park changes or is updated (e.g. gates are installed and/or codes to access gates are changed or applied).

Information, training and instruction

The emergency plan must provide information, training and instruction to the home owners and other park residents about implementing the emergency procedures.

Displaying the emergency plan

You must make all reasonable attempts to display the emergency plan on a notice board in a prominent position within the park’s common areas until the park no longer offers sites for manufactured homes.

Maintaining and implementing your emergency plan

Once the emergency plan is established, you must maintain the emergency plan for the residential park so that the plan remains effective. In an emergency you must implement your emergency plan.

Encourage home owners and other residents to be aware of their own requirements and plan for an emergency. For example, they could prepare an emergency kit, home evacuation plan, and plan how to take care of family pets.

Keeping copies and records

You must keep at the park:

  • a written copy of the emergency plan
  • a written record of each test of an emergency procedure as detailed in the emergency plan.

If possible, keep a copy of the emergency plan at the residential park and keep another copy off-site.

Offences for non-compliance with emergency plan requirements

From 1 September 2019, it will be an offence if you do not have an emergency plan that meets these requirements.

These changes are in addition to the existing obligations on park owners to ensure the safety of home owners and other residents in the event of a fire or hazardous materials emergency.

Read more about your emergency plan obligations under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990.