OBUHSN-09 Issue 05 April 2009

Fire and evacuation procedures

Introduction

  1. This Health and Safety Notice should be read and understood by all staff of Oxford Brookes University at the commencement of their employment. It should be brought to the attention of all students that attend the University on commencement of each semester and/or at their first lecture. The relevant sections of this document will be brought to the attention of contractors working on Oxford Brookes University premises in (Safe Working by Contractors in Oxford Brookes University OBUHSN-14). This information is also included in the Building & Estates Code of Practice for Contractors.
    • The Deans of Faculties/Directors of Directorates or their nominees are responsible for ensuring that details of site specific evacuation procedures and actions are given to members of staff and students, as appropriate, in their areas of responsibility.
    • Some parts of Oxford Brookes University have 24-hour access that is controlled by a card access system. In the event of fire alarm activation all card access doors in the fire zone and other main exits will automatically unlock.
    • Fire alarms will be used whenever a University building, fire zone or a site as a whole is to be evacuated. Whenever the fire alarms sound the situation must be treated as an emergency except at the time of a pre-announced alarm test or planned maintenance. Smoke and flames do not necessarily accompany emergencies. Buildings may have to be evacuated because of bomb alerts, chemical pollution, major incidents and imminent collapse as well as for fire.
  2. The Dean of Faculty/Director of Directorate or their nominee must ensure that all new staff are made aware of the contents of this document.
    • The emergency procedures for contractors are given in OBUHSN-14
  3. It is the responsibility of the Deans of Faculties/Directors of Directorates or their nominee to instruct their teaching staff that they must read out Sections 6 – 8 of this notice to students at the start of each semester.
  4. It is the responsibility of the Deans of Faculties/Directors of Directorates or their nominee that they must ensure that this notice is read and understood bynew members of staff start their contract of employment with Oxford Brookes University .
  5. Those who invite visitors (OBUHSN-13) to the University must make their visitors aware of these procedures, in particular, what must be done in the event of hearing a fire alarm, the location of emergency exits and of the fire assembly points.

General evacuation procedure

  1. These procedures apply to all University buildings, including Halls of Residence. When the alarm bells sound in any University property or fire zone that property, building or fire zone is to be evacuated. During any evacuation those present must:
    • not delay to collect personal belongings,
    • not use lifts,
    • walk not run,
    • get well clear of buildings and access routes,
    • not attempt to leave the site by use of any vehicle, not even a bicycle,
    • not go back into the building until instructed by a responsible member of
    • staff,
    • advise a member of staff or fire fighter if they have any reason to believe that anyone has remained in the building.

    Certain designated members of staff, such as Campus Services, Security and Fire Marshals will not evacuate the building(s) when the fire alarm sounds because they have specific duties to perform.

  2. On hearing the fire alarms:
    • All those in the building or fire zone must leave the building by the recommended escape route. Escape routes are indicated by notices showing a white running figure on a green background. The direction of travel and arrow shows the route to the nearest fire exit. Written escape route information can be found on the fire action notice that should be displayed in all rooms.
    • If students are in a lecture:
      • Staff must instruct the students to leave the building quickly and proceed to the prescribed assembly area. Staff must so far as is reasonably practicable ensure that all persons under their control (including visitors) evacuate the building. Staff must advise a fire officer if they believe that persons may be left in the building.
      • Students must follow staff instructions and leave the building quickly.
    • Other than Campus Services and similar staff, no one who is outside a building or fire zone in which the alarms are sounding may attempt to enter/re-enter it. They must proceed to a safe assembly area.
  3. After any evacuation of a building it is the duty of every member of the University who believes that they have identified a fault in the evacuation procedure or any hazard arising during it to inform their Dean of Faculty/Director of Directorate, Campus Services Manager, Campus Services Shift Control Manager, Hall Manager, Student Accommodation Manager or the University Safety Officer.

Actions on discovering a fire

  1. Procedure to be followed on discovering a fire
    • Any person(s) who discovers a fire must sound the alarm at the nearest fire alarm call point.
    • Fire fighting. Only consider fighting the fire if safe to do so and if familiar with the operation of fire extinguishers. A fire that has been burning for longer than three minutes is probably too large for portable fire fighting equipment to extinguish. Never put yourself or others in danger. If in doubt get out, call the brigade out and stay out
    • Leave the building by the recommended escape route (6.1).
    • Find a telephone and dial for help. Follow the appropriate instructions below depending on location.
      • At Gipsy Lane or Headington Hill. If an internal phone is available dial 222. Inform Campus Services Shift Control Manager or switchboard operator the location, nature (gas, chemical, furniture etc), and details of casualties or trapped persons. If an internal phone is unavailable, using an external or mobile phone dial 999 to call the fire brigade. Give details of the location, nature (gas, chemical, furniture etc), and details of casualties or trapped persons. Following the call to the fire brigade, inform Campus Services or Campus Security of the situation and arrange to meet the emergency service vehicles when they arrive on site. If Campus Services or Campus Security are unable to be contacted, dial 999 to call the police for assistance.
      • At all sites other than Gipsy Lane or Headington Hill. Use an external or mobile phone to dial 999 to call the fire brigade. Give details of the location, nature (gas, chemical, furniture etc), and details of casualties or trapped persons. Following the call to the fire brigade, inform Site Services or Site Security, or at a Hall of Residence, the Hall Manager or Duty Warden of the situation and arrange to meet the emergency service vehicles when they arrive on site. If Campus Services or Campus Security are unable to be contacted, dial 999 to call the police for assistance.

Persons with restricted mobility and wheelchair users

  1. The following advice differs to the emergency instructions given to able-bodied persons. These instructions do not increase the risk to wheelchair users or other persons with restricted mobility. These emergency instructions will reduce the risk of injury to these persons while the emergency evacuation procedures are in progress.
  2. Each individual building in the University is alarmed separately and where the buildings are interconnected there are separate zones. If the alarms do not sound in the building/zone individuals are in, there is no requirement for them evacuate. If evacuation is required, they will be told or the alarm in the area will be sounded.
    • Persons with restricted mobility should make their way to disabled refuge points, usually located in fire-protected staircase or other protected area and wait until the main body of people has passed. If possible they should wait with person(s) who can help them to exit the building. Others should be discouraged from taking persons with restricted mobility onto the stairs until safe to do so. Their restricted mobility could possibly cause an accident to others when there are many people on the stairs.
    • In large or linked buildings, if familiar with the environment, wheelchair users or their helpers should attempt to leave the affected area by a horizontal route to a safe place or to the designated assembly point area.
    • If wheelchair users or their helpers are unfamiliar with the building and there is no horizontal escape route follow the procedure below:
      • When the alarm sounds wheelchair users should request assistance from any available person to the nearest staircase which is a fire escape route. They must not block the staircase or impede the operation of emergency fire doors. The person that is helping should remain with the wheelchair user and send any other available person to contact the Campus Services Shift Control Manager, Campus Security or a member of Campus Services.
      • The wheelchair user must not attempt to exit the building using the staircase unless fire or any other emergency directly threatens. Campus Services staff will inform the Fire Brigade of their location and will ascertain whether they can safely remain at their present location, or they can use the lift (with the permission of the Fire Brigade) to evacuate the building.
      • If the wheelchair user cannot remain safely in the staircase, site services staff or other specially trained members of staff will assist in moving them to a safer location or evacuating them from the building.
      • Under no circumstances should a lift be used to evacuate the building unless the Fire Brigade, Safety Officer, Campus Services Manager or Shift Control Manager authorise it.
      • If it is a false alarm the wheelchair user will be advised as soon as possible and instructed on what to do.

Appendix

  1. List of competent persons and telephone numbers
  2. Fire assembly point maps