The University is committed to achieving and maintaining the highest standards of fire safety for all employees, students and others who may be affected by the University's activities.
The key legislation covering fire safety is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Fire risk assessments of all University buildings are carried out by the University Fire Safety Adviser. Recommendations are made to the responsible person for the building and a copy is sent to Estates for infrastructure issues. The assessments are reviewed periodically.
All buildings are assessed for suitable fire precautions and are fitted with automatic fire detection systems, emergency lighting and fire fighting equipment.
The responsible person in each building must ensure that the fire precautions are being maintained and report any issues to the Estate Office Helpdesk. They must ensure that all staff and students are provided with fire safety information and/or attend fire safety talks. Fire Action signs are posted within buildings and should state the Assembly Point for that building.
Each School, Department, etc. is responsible for setting up fire evacuation procedures. The aim is that in the event of fire all persons in the location should leave immediately, and that by the time the Fire Service arrives, information is available on whether there are any persons remaining in the building. This is normally achieved by dividing the building into sections and personnel should on hearing the fire alarm clear each of these sections as they leave. They should then report to a co-ordinating member of staff who on completion of the evacuation should be in a position to advise the attending officer from the Fire Brigade of the position concerning the successful clearance of the building.
To assist in the management and control of this system, the majority of buildings have their sections identified by strategically placed fire tokens. A token should be taken by the first member of staff passing it on evacuating the section and who should then check that the rooms within that section have been cleared. This person then reports to the co-ordinator at the assembly point.
The co-ordinator will be one of a number of senior members of School or Department etc staff nominated to take charge in the event of an emergency. In the case of buildings used by several Schools or Departments there will be a co-ordinated system for the building as a whole.
At least one exercise of the fire evacuation procedure (fire drill) will be held annually. The assistance of the University Fire Safety Adviser (ext. 13302) must be sought prior to the exercise taking place. This will enable the necessary personnel, i.e. duty electrician, etc. to be present. The exercise must be followed by a review of the procedures, as appropriate, in the light of how effective the fire drill proved to be. A report must then be forwarded to the Fire Safety Adviser at the University Safety Office.
The fire alarm system must be tested each week. (The duty electrician may undertake this task if a request is made to the Estate Office).
Outbreaks of fire, fire drills and the testing of fire alarms must be recorded.
The prompt and intelligent use of an extinguisher in the earliest stages can prevent a serious fire. However, you should only use an extinguisher if competent to do so.
In attempting to put out a fire it is essential that the correct type of extinguisher is used. The use of the wrong type could in some circumstances increase the hazard and danger to the operator.
Under no circumstances should a water extinguisher be used on electrical fires.
Fire extinguishers must not be used to hold open doors as they may be damaged as a result and will not be available at their expected location in the event of a fire. The holding open of fire doors, other than by automatic door release devices, is not permitted as this reduces the fire protection of the building by allowing smoke and flames to spread further and more quickly.
A fire report form must be completed immediately in respect of all outbreaks of fire occurring within University premises. This is to ensure that basic information on the fire is available to the Univeristy and that an appropriate level of investigation can be carried out with a view to preventing further similar incidents.
Some activities might expose Fire and Rescue Staff attending the fire to a greater hazard because of the nature of what is taking place. Consequently, sets of floor plans showing high hazard areas are kept available for the Fire and Rescue Service at each relevant building, this is mainly to highlight laboratory and workshop areas.
The hazard plans show the location of hazards such as radiation, biohazards, toxic chemicals and compressed gases. This enables the Fire and Rescue Service to carry out their own dynamic risk assessment for dealing with the fire.
The University arrangements for the emergency evacuation of persons with a disability are published on the Safety Office website. This includes general information about the faciltiies available and the procedures in place. Building information about emergency and evacuation arrangements is contained in the building access plans, displayed near prinicipal entrances to buildings and on the Estates Office website.
Where these general arrangements do not seem suitable them it might be necessary to develop a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP). The purpose of this is to identify with the person concerned any additional arrangements that may reasonably be made to enable their effective evacuation in an emergency. This will reflect the unique charateristics of the building that they need to visit and their own requirements.
To initiate the development of a PEEP, the University must be notified as follows:
Please refer to University Guidance on PEEPs.
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