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Risk Management & Safety / Emergency Response


Danger: situation that has potential to alter/harm something/someone
Risk: contextual probability of specific eventualities of danger
Risk assessment: contextual analysis of risk - what can happen to us and how could we deal with it
Emergency plan: procedures and resources aiming at reducing the potential damage of an eventual harmful situation. Includes phone number lists, calendar of periodic maintenance, definitions of responsibilities, improvement schedule, etc.

Step 1 - Hazards Inventory

What are the risks to which the Caravanserail is exposed?
Initial brainstorm
Walk around the premises and look for potential hazards... be creative! No bad answer!

Physical hazards
Electrical Failure
Waste water spillage (washing mahcine & dish washer)
Network failure
Living room evacuation
Windows breaking with the wind hitting them

Human hazards

Unwanted guests
Keys lost or being copied by other people
Accident - Sudden illness - Poisoning - Intoxication - Allergies
Psychological distress
Sensory stress (smells, noises)
Being locked outside the flat
Not being able to access the postbox
Minor cuts & bruises, first aid situation
Tripping in the shower
Infectious diseases

Legal hazards
Police asking us info about people that live or lived here
Having too many people living here (vs contract)
... we did not go further in this avenue because it is a can of worms and we don't know enough how to handle them.

Children hazards
We did not assess risks for children coming (example electricity and alcohol in the kitchen)

Step 2 - Risk Analysis

It seems that's we can group risks together when they can be handled similarly.

Group 1

Electrical Failure
Waste water spillage (washing machine & dish washer)

Potential Resources
Fire detector
Extinguisher (for kitchen) - but we don't believe much in it
Fire blanket
Phone numbers
Knowledge of water input (hot water in the wall behind the boiler, each tap)
Fuse/Breaker Box
Evacuate quickly - verify for the two scenarios - if fire is in an apartment yes evacuate, if it's in hallway, smoke can make people suffocate so have to be evacuated by fire dept by the windows
Plan (maybe) or at least physical list of things
Flyer to give to guests with some sort of welcome info
Keeping the hallway and the entry door completely free
More storage space to keep the floor free

Group 2
Unwanted guests
Keys lost or being copied by other people
Being locked outside the flat
Not being able to access the postbox

Previous discussion: BBC Keys
There are, right now, 2 sets of keys in the hook.
Originally there were 5. The upper key of the 5th set folded against the door (when it opened) so already in February we had only 4 sets. One has been lost (by whom, we don't know). Vicky took one but it's now in Paul Br's hands. We know that it's not a solution.

So there are two questions at the moment:

How to handle keys?
- Permanent residents could have a set of keys each for with they leave a symbolic deposit and it's theirs. They are fully responsible for it. If they want to hand it to their guest, it's their choice and responsibility. There would be no need for keys to be on the hook (apart maybe from the mailbox key, that could always be put back)
- This way, the people risking of being locked out are the guests. Since guests are normally associated with one permanent resident, they then have to make sure that their coming back time is synchronized with someone being at home.
- Annoying thing - people having to buzz in the middle of the night. If they are guests of a permanent resident, they could have their set of keys instead of waking up other residents.
- This way we also ALWAYS know who has a set of keys. If new residents come they can decide not to have a set of keys but it's their own risk.
- How do we trust people

How do handle door control?

- Always welcome people when they get in the flat - they should be regular visitors or be registered on the calendar as guests (and have contacted someone before).
- Everybody is welcome here. But sometimes we don't feel safe around some people, it's normal. How to handle that? How do we trust (or not trust people?) It's still a mystery.

This is a section that would benefit from having it's own page in the "Living together" section for more discussion...

Group 3
Minor cuts & bruises, first aid situation
Tripping in the shower
Accident - Sudden illness - Poisoning - Intoxication - Allergies
Psychological distress
Sensory stress (smells, noises)

First-aid kit (how do we maintain it?)
Knowing who's trained (maybe)
The shower is not really slippery...
Knowing addresses of hospitals, clinics, poison centre.
Physical violence cannot be tolerated within the flat. We try to control the person but if it becomes too unsafe the person should be out of the flat to cool down. The flat is a safe place to be.
What if people don't have insurance / money to take care of themselves
Emergency numbers / next of kin for guests ? Who to contact when there's a problem
Ambulance, closest walk-in clinic
Make your illnesses and problems known if they can affect people you live with. Honesty is REALLY important. We can deal with sick people, or people out of the norm, but having the proper information helps us to react
Alcohol abuse can lead to tricky situations.. we all know it and can remain aware of it.
Psychological emergency help (where to get?)

Network failure
Living room evacuation - FREE THE FLOOR during the day!! And free the hallway too.
Windows breaking with the wind hitting them - Close them - maybe a little chain/cord ?
Infectious diseases carried by residents/guests.. - BE HONEST and Have some Hygiene! Caring for yourself is caring for others!
Daan - Lock him up. gnaaaah :)

Emergency numbers & Unformatted info

SOS emergency Number 112
Emergency service/fire-brigade 112
Police 110
Calling the "Ärztlichen Notdienst" (19292 in some parts of Germany) for the name of a doctor in your area, see also: www.aerztlichepraxis.de/Bereitschaft and www.aerzte-notdienst.de

When reporting an accident in Germany, keep the 4-W’s in mind:

Where? Where did the accident/incident happen? (be as precise as possible! i.e., city/town, street name and house number, intersection, on a highway state the direction you are headed and the last exit you have passed or a mile marker - blue signs on the side of the highway that will read "123,5 KM")

What? What happened? (i.e., car accident, fire, person with chest pain, injured person etc.)

Who? Who is injured or sick and/or how many are affected. (Gender, approx. age)

WAIT! Wait for further questions and provide a (mobile-) phone number where you can be reached for further questions. (Never hang up until the calltaker tells you it's ok to do so!


The German police can be identified by their predominantly navy blue uniforms, and blue and white (or nowaydays more commonly, silver) signs and automobiles. Motorized police units, known as the "Vekehrspolizei" (traffic police), look after safety on the streets, roads and motorways, and can be identified by their white hats. Uniformed policemen patrolling city streets have a hat that is the same color as their uniform. Those policemen who are responsible for criminal offences, known as the "Kriminalpolizei" (criminal police), are usually dressed in plain clothes, and show their identification only when necessary. Many of the German police personnel speak English and are approachable and easy to find in busy areas like airports and train stations. The number 110 can be used to contact the police throughout Germany. Car accidents If you or someone else has an accident or a serious breakdown on the German motorway, you can use one of the special orange tele- phones that are set every 2 kilometers along the shoulder of the road. These telephones contact an operator who will inform the appropriate emergency services. The emergency numbers 110 and 112 can be accessed by every telephone, including mobile phones, free of charge.

Thefts and burglaries must be reported immediately to the police (www.polizei.de). If an insurance claim is to be made, a certifi- cate must be obtained to show that the stolen property has been reported. If you have lost a valuable item, try contacting the city's "Fundgrube" (Lost and Found). These exist in every German city and are often in the city hall or "Rathaus". See www.fundbuero24.de . The German Railway has its own lost property office known as the "Fundbüro der Deutschen Bahn AG". The same applies for most airports.

On-call Doctor (after hours, "Ärztlicher Bereitschaftdienst")

19292 (local numbers and availability may vary)
Emergency Poison Hotline

(0761) 192 40

Lost & Found ("Fundbüro")

Fundbüro der Deutschen Bahn AG (German Railroad Lost and Found)
(01805) 99 05 99
Zentrales Fundbüro Berlin (Central Lost and Found of Berlin)
(030) 69 95

Step 3 - Precautions / Resources

Step 4 - Implementation

Step 5 - Test & Audit