Bushfire Safety Policy & Proceedures
Warrandyte Neighbourhood House (WNH) is located in an area of high bushfire risk. In addition to this Bushfire Safety Policy and Procedures document, the Neighbourhood House has a Bushfire Emergency Procedures document, which is attached to this document and stored in the fire kit.
The Bushfire Safety Policy and Procedures Document is intended to facilitate the management of Bushfire Risk within WNH, to minimise risks to people and property, to protect the reputation of WNH, and to implement recovery procedures.
WNH will work cooperatively with the local CFA to ensure policy and procedures meet with their recommendations, as per their website. Fire warnings and fire ratings impact upon our business and will be clearly outlined in our procedures.
Contact with the local CFA will occur annually prior to the Fire Danger Period.
WNH is a responsive community facility and seeks to be fully informed of local conditions and environmental risks. WNH has a responsibility to support the health and safety of its staff, volunteers, contractors and clients.
Personal responsiveness extends to all individuals using the house and we encourage all staff, contractors, clients and volunteers to be proactive in ensuring their own personal safety. WNH places the value of human life above all else.
WNH will be closed on Extreme and Catastrophic days. No person will be in the Centre on these days. The centre will also close if the CFA or Manningham Council advises us to do so or at the discretionary decision of the staff member in charge. Our weekly walking group will be cancelled on Extreme and Catastrophic Days or any other day that is thought to be a threat.
On other days of Total Fire Ban, WNH will remain open with staff in attendance. Staff will monitor relevant advice throughout the day.
Any client who has a class cancelled due to a bushfire risk will be offered a make-up class or an offer to transfer a credit towards next terms fees. Refunds will also be offered and the client will be given the option of donating the fee to the House.
In the event that a fire event occurs on a day that the facility is operating and personnel are caught in a fire, this policy adopts the recommendations of the CFA website. WNH will maintain an adequate Bushfire Kit as recommended through the CFA website.
Committee of Management:
All members of the Committee of Management will ensure that they have read and understood the Bushfire Safety Policy and Procedures document and the current Bushfire Management Plan.
The Committee of Management shall, in conjunction with the manager, address managerial, media, and budgeting issues related to this policy and its implementation.
The Committee of Management will maintain appropriate insurances in alignment with relevant lease agreements.
In the event of a Bushfire Emergency or necessity for quick decision making, the committee of Management delegates discretional responsibility to the most senior staff member present at the facility. Attempts to contact and update the Committee of Management executive should be made as soon as possible.
The committee of Management (in consultation with the staff), will establish a fire kit, stocked with appropriate equipment. (Fire equipment is listed in the Bushfire Management Plan.)
The Committee of Management via the WNH Policy sub-committee are responsible for reviewing this policy annually.
The Manager will ensure that all staff have read and understood the Bushfire Safety Policy and Procedures Document and the Bushfire Emergency Procedures Document. The Manager and staff will be responsible for the day-to-day implementation of this policy.
WNH will distribute the Bushfire Management Plan and Bushfire Safety Policy and Procedures to all staff, committee members, tutors and volunteers in the 4th term each year, and again in 1st term.
The Manager will ensure that procedures are in place to ensure efficient emergency communication. e.g. working telephones, charged mobile, spare batteries for radio.
The Finance and Administrative Officer is responsible for weekly backup of data files not saved to the Cloud (such as MYOB and VETTRAK files) to an external source which will be kept in a fireproof box and off site during the summer.
The Manager and staff will be responsible for maintenance of the fire kit and its equipment. Ensuring that all supplies are accounted for and in working order (e.g. batteries for torches, water supplies etc.). Fire equipment is listed in the Emergency Procedures Plan and in the fire kit.
All staff should ensure that they have appropriate personal protective clothing to wear in a bushfire emergency. This should be kept on the premises during the Fire danger period.
The Manger or staff member deemed responsible in the manager’s absence will be responsible for directing and utilising volunteers in the absence of an emergency services member.
All tutors will ensure that they have read and understood the Bushfire Safety policy and Procedures document and the current Bushfire Emergency Procedures document. They must ensure that they know where the first aid kits and fire kit is located prior to their class commencing.
All tutors will be responsible for ensuring the attendance roll is completed at each session.
During the Fire danger period (usually November through to April) tutors will be required to monitor relevant CFA advice throughout the day and check that their class is still going ahead.
In in the event that an emergency arises and there is no WNH staff member on site, the tutor is responsible for managing the situation.
All volunteers must ensure that they have read and understood the Bushfire Safety Policy and Bush Emergency Procedures document. No volunteer is expected to put their own safety in danger and should consider the conditions before commencing their shift. They should contact the office if they decide not to attend.
Due to the rapidly changing conditions in a bush fire emergency, we may not be able to give advance warning that we are closing the centre. We encourage all participants of the House to monitor fire ratings and warnings during the high fire danger period and take responsibility for their own safety.
Clients will be informed of our closure policies and where possible, any unscheduled closures by:
Notices in prominent positions located in and around our centre
Information in our brochures in term 1 and 4
SMS, emails and phone calls, where possible
Notices on the front door that we are closed
Our Facebook and webpages
As a service to the community and to promote a safe community, we will work with the CFA to provide and promote a residents’ bush fire planning session every year, or other such information session as recommended by the CFA.
Bushfire Emergency Procedures document
WNH Risk Management Matrix
Understanding Fire Ratings
Committee of Management 13 October 2015
BOG 8 February 2022