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Fire safety - what to do, and what not to do!

25 Oct 2010

Lessons learned from fire evacuations

As many of you will have heard already, we are in the middle of this year’s fire evacuation practices for most of the teaching buildings. A few matters have already come to our attention, and we would like to remind you of the following:

  • The weekly “tests” of the fire alarms are your opportunity to let Estates know if you can’t hear them where you work. The test time is clearly stated on the blue notices displayed along exit routes in all buildings. Please make a point of listening out for the alarm at the specified time, and phoning the Estates helpdesk (x52424) with details if you can’t hear it clearly.
  • These evacuation practices are part of the fire safety training the University provides its staff and students. Everyone is expected to respond by evacuating promptly. There is no need to wonder if it is a test or practice, or to phone Security for more details – you MUST evacuate.
  • Those in charge of classes of students should stop lecturing or teaching, and accompany the class out of the building, shutting doors behind them.
  • PLEASE use the nearest and quickest exit doors. This year there have been long queues at the main exit door of several buildings. When the alarm is sounding, you can (indeed, should) use the break glasses to exit through the nearest doors.
  • Do not re-enter the building until you have been told to do so by Security or the University Fire Officer. Fire alarms have to be silenced and the system reset before re-entry, and this can take a little time. In a “real” emergency situation, fire fighters will often silence the alarms so they can hear themselves think and communicate, so silent alarms are not the signal to re-enter the building.

Dr Melanie Taylor
Head of Safety Services


Jeff Smith
University Fire Officer