We have a responsibility under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to put in place emergency plans and arrangements for South Gloucestershire. 

We also have a duty under other legislation to carry out an emergency planning role. 

This means we must comply with the following regulations: 

Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019

The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 requires us to have in place dedicated plans for any site that falls under the regulations such as nuclear power stations or sites using radioactive materials.  

Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015

The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 applies to sites that hold or produce set amounts of hazardous materials as identified by the Health and Safety Executive.  

Under COMAH we must make an off-site emergency plan for any site that meets the upper tier site criteria.   

Major Accidents Hazard Pipeline Regulations

The Major Accidents Hazard Pipeline Regulations apply to a pipeline that transports a dangerous material and its working pressure as identified by the Health and Safety Executive.  

We have a duty to plan for each pipeline that meets the criteria.


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Community risks 

We have a duty to identify, plan for, and prepare for risks that are reasonably foreseeable.   

What we plan for 

We work with the emergency services and other professional partners in a group known as the Local Resilience Forum (LRF).   

The LRF publishes a document called the community risk register.   

This document highlights all the identified risks within Avon and Somerset and prioritises them according to a national risk matrix.   

The document covers hazards such as:  

  • hazardous sites covered by legislation (as listed above) 
  • severe weather related and natural events including flooding   
  • transport accidents   
  • outbreaks of diseases (both animal and human)  

Although each hazard will give responders different challenges (which may need a specialist approach) the information provided to residents will be the same within the local area.  

How you can prepare  

It is important residents also prepare against these risks so you can be more resilient and better able to cope during an emergency.  

Our Emergency Planning and Health Protection Unit provides guides on how to prepare for a range of emergencies. You can request these using the contact details on this page.

Find out more about emergency planning 

You can also find guidance on how to prepare on our how to prepare for emergencies page.

Severnside Sirens

The Severnside Sirens warn people of possible incidents involving dangerous substances in Avonmouth. 

People at risk from incidents at industrial sites in and around Avonmouth have warning information leaflets from the operators of the sirens. 

Testing the sirens 

The sirens are tested on the third day of each month at 3pm.  

The test is a three-minute alert warning, one minute silence and one minute all clear signal

What to do if you hear the sirens 

If you hear the sirens at any other time you must:  

  • stay in your home  
  • tune into local radio or TV stations   
  • follow the instructions of the emergency services  

The ‘all clear’ message will sound when it is safe. 


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