Information for current:

Health and Safety policy


Fire is probably the most serious danger which most members of the University will ever have to face. It can break out almost anywhere and affects everyone.

4.1 Fire Action: On discovering a fire

In the event of a fire follow the instructions that are given in the Fire Action Notices that are displayed throughout the buildings.

If you discover a fire:
NEVER attempt to tackle a fire yourself unless you have been trained in the use of fire extinguishers and feel confident that you can do so without endangering the safety of yourself and others.

4.2 Fire Action: On hearing the fire alarm
Specially designed fire-fighting lifts can be used to assist in evacuation of mobility impaired persons the procedures for which are outlined in 4.5.

4.3 Means of Escape

The Forum has three main escape stairs within the fire cores at the north-west and south-east corners of the building, and at the south end of the Life Sciences Wing. In the event of an emergency evacuation only those protected stairs should be used as fire curtains situated around the atrium will automatically drop to form a fire barrier preventing access to the atrium main and spiral stairwells from the floor levels. If you are on these stairwells when the fire alarm sounds then immediately proceed downwards. This is particularly important on the spiral stair (between levels 2 and 4) where the fire curtain at level 2 has a built in delay mechanism to allow just 1 minute for the safe escape from the stair before closing.

Appleton Tower has two main stairs located in the east and west ends of the building either of which can be used in the event of an emergency evacuation.

4.4 Duties of Fire Stewards, Fire Controllers and Fire Co-ordinators

The list of the fire stewards, fire controllers and fire co-ordinators for all buildings can be found at:

Instructions for Fire Stewards

As a Fire Steward you should be familiar with:
Report any problems concerned with fire safety to the School's Health and Safety Manager/Assistant. 

On hearing the fire alarm:
Instructions for Fire Controllers

On hearing the fire alarm:
If the building does not have a Fire Co-ordinator then the Fire Controller should:

Instructions for Fire Co-ordinators (applicable for the Forum)

On hearing the fire alarm:


4.5 Emergency Evacuation Procedure for Mobility Impaired Persons

4.5.1 Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEP)

The School, in conjunction with other University parties, will organise a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) for each individual who requires assistance or special arrangements during an emergency evacuation. Staff and postgraduate students who are mobility impaired or have other impairments e.g. hearing or sight impairment and would require assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation should notify the School Safety Manager. Undergraduate students should contact Gillian Watt who is the School's Co-ordinator of Adjustments for Students. This also applies in circumstances where an individual may need a temporary PEEP e.g. those with broken limbs, sport injuries or women in the later stages of pregnancy.

Persons hosting short term visitors who would require assistance during emergency evacuation of the building must ensure that the Health and Safety Manager is advised in advance of their visit. This is particularly important if the visitor is in the builidng outside normal working hours when fire safety cover is not available.

Information about these polices can be found in part two of the University Health and Safety Policy and at:

Further information is also available from the Disability Office

4.5.2 The Forum Evacuation Procedure for Mobility Impaired People

Instructions for Mobility Impaired Persons

On hearing the fire alarm:
Instructions for Recovery Team Members

On hearing the fire alarm:

4.5.3 Appleton Tower Evacuation Procedure for Mobility Impaired Persons

A person with mobility impairment requiring assistance during emergency evacuation should act in accordance with their Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan.  If there is no such plan in place, then this person should make his/her way to the lift lobby, activate the refuge communication panel and await assistance. 

4.6 Weekly Fire Alarm Testing and Fire Drills

Tests on the fire alarm system are carried out on a weekly basis to ensure that the system is operational and that doors fitted with hold open devices and security devices operate as required on actuation of the alarm. No one is required to evacuate a building during a fire alarm test unless the sounders sound for more than 30 seconds. On all other occasions of the fire alarm activation the premises must be evacuated.
Fire Test Times in the following building are:
No one should tamper with the Fire Alarm System (or other alarm system). It is a serious offence and penalties are severe.

Fire Drills take place in each building at least once a year to rehearse the full evacuation procedure and to identify any weakness in the evacuation strategy.

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