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Annual practice building evacuations begin in September

13 Sep 2013

FAQs from 2012 and tips for successful evacuation.

fire exit

Why do we carry out practice evacuations each and every year?

Practice evacuations give staff and students the chance to get to know the emergency evacuation routes in the buildings they use.  

Practising how to evacuate also:

  • Enables staff to refresh their knowledge of the emergency exit routes and procedures, as they lead their classes or groups to safety;
  • Allows the Evacuation Marshals to carry out their roles;
  • Identifies any problems with the building’s fire safety arrangements.

What information is gathered and how is it used?

  • The practices are observed by members of the University Fire Safety Office, Security, Estates and Safety Services Team.
  • Information is gathered about how long it takes to evacuate a building (the target evacuation time for any of our buildings is three minutes!).
  • Staff and student behaviour during the evacuation is observed, recorded and reported: for example, did staff or students react promptly to the alarm?
  • Any building faults or procedural issues are identified and reported for improvement or repair.
  • All information is reported to the Head of School and through the University’s Fire Safety Advisory Group.

Who has authorised this?

  • The date and time of evacuation practices is arranged and agreed in advance in consultation with local safety advisors and managers. 
  • We aim to undertake the practices with as little disruption as possible, whilst also ensuring good occupancy levels inside buildings.
  • The faster people evacuate to the assembly point, the sooner the re-entry process can begin. 

Tips for a successful evacuation

  • Know your emergency exit routes – not just the main entrance!
  • Be familiar with how to open your final exit doors: for example – is it a push bar exit? Redlam bolt? or do you need to break the emergency door release buttons where magnetic locks exist?
  • React promptly to the alarm – do not delay.
  • Please remain positive and be cooperative with your evacuation teams!