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Evacuation diagrams for hotels

9 Jun, 2022

Evacuation diagrams play a crucial role in maintaining the safety of all guests, staff and visitors in hotels. 

Preparing your hotel, motel or accommodation venue for an emergency is crucial to safety for all. Part of the emergency evacuation planning process will involve equipping it with all relevant evacuation diagrams and safety signs. If you’re unsure about the requirements for evacuation diagrams and signage in hotels, you’re not alone! We’re here to help you navigate what’s involved in this process, so you can maximise safety and keep in line with compliance and regulations. 


Why do hotels need Evacuation Diagrams?

 Evacuation diagrams help people move to safety in a way that’s faster, more efficient and more orderly, in the event of an emergency. This is extra important for hotels, which tend to have several major fire risks – from extensive electrical input to wiring, lifts, air conditioning and even commercial kitchens. Plus, hotels also tend to be full of people who are just passing through and are therefore unsure of the layout and exit routes within a building. 


Here are just some of the key benefits that evacuation diagrams offer for hotels and other buildings: 

  • Evacuation diagrams provide people with clear and simple information that informs people of where they need to evacuate to – whether that’s from their room or a different location within the hotel
  • They inform people as to where the closest fire safety equipment can be found
  • On numerous occasions, these small information placards have meant the difference between life or death.

Does Australian law require evacuation diagrams in hotels?

Yes. If you are the owner, manager or operator of a facility – which means any building or workplace that may have occupants or visitors – you are required to have an emergency evacuation plan and therefore emergency diagrams. Failure to adhere can also result in hefty fines. The Australian Standard for Planning for Emergencies in Facilities (AS3745-2010) requires that hotels all have: 

  • A clear evacuation plan
  • Relevant and easy-to-interpret evacuation diagrams
  • The required number of evacuation signs and exits based on the type and size of the building
  • An accurate floor plan of the hotel
  • A description of the emergency procedures. 


Special requirements for hotels

In addition to following the requirements of a regular commercial facility, hotels – or any other Short-Term Accommodation properties (Class 3 buildings) will also require back of door evacuation diagrams. Given that guests and visitors tend not to be familiar with the property, this extra signage provides additional resources in case of an emergency. These types of properties include:

  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Hostels
  • Lodging houses
  • Boarding houses
  • Guesthouses
  • Rooming accommodation

Learn more complying with Australian Standards here


What are the minimum elements for evacuation diagrams?

The Floor Plan and Site Plan of the facility, as well as its Assembly Point and the specific Emergency Procedures of that facility.

  • Orientation for the individual (“You are here”), pointing them to the nearest and safest exit
    The location of the nearest fire equipment – such as extinguishers, hose reels and fire blankets
  • A legend to help people better-understand the symbols on the diagram.


What size should they be?

The minimum size of an evacuation diagram is A4. This is the bare minimum, which is only suitable for those who fit the minimum requirements and elements. If any optional elements are used, you’ll need an A3 evacuation diagram. The minimum size of the floor plan should be 200mm x 150mm.


How many evacuation diagrams do I need?

There’s no simple number of evacuation diagrams and safety signs for your accommodation venue – given that each hotel is different. It is your Emergency Planning Committee that’s responsible for determining the exact number and location of your evacuation diagrams and signage based on your hotel, and its features, size and space. 


How should the diagrams be positioned and oriented?

Each evacuation diagram or sign should be located in the most accessible place possible on each evacuation route. 

  • In general, evacuation diagrams should be positioned between 1200mm and 1600mm from the floor, in other words, at eye level
  • In addition, you should ensure they’re oriented according to a ‘You are Here’ legend
  • You should also ensure this is rotated correctly from the point of view of the person viewing the sign. The Site Plan, if displayed, should also be oriented in the same direction of the Floor Plan.

 Learn more about the requirements for Evacuation Diagrams

Further resources




Not sure your emergency evacuation plan is up to scratch? Fire Block Plans is here to help you and your team. Our highly-qualified experts will help find a suitable emergency evacuation plan, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.