ARRANGING A FIRE DRILL

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					            Health & Safety Office
            1-9 Old Park Hill
            Bristol BS2 8BB

            Telephone (0117) 92 88780
            Fax (0117) 33 17532
            bristol-safety@bristol.ac.uk



ARRANGING A FIRE DRILL

To comply with the current University Fire Safety Policy, formal fire drills must be carried out every term. Organising a fire
drill is quite straightforward but needs a little planning to make it effective.

Why carry out a fire drill?
To comply with fire safety legislation and the University Fire Safety Policy.
NOTE: False alarm evacuations are not considered replacements for formal fire drills.

What are the benefits?
A formal fire drill acts as a learning experience for those involved:

Organisers and those with a responsibility for fire safety in a building can assess the effectiveness of their fire safety
management procedures including
  •     Use and effectiveness of fire wardens plus the control of the evacuation and assembly area;
  •     Effectiveness of the alarm investigation team
  •     Effectiveness of communications with and support from Security and Maintenance
  •     Suitability of procedures for evacuating those people who are unable to escape without assistance (Personal
        Emergency Evacuation Plans or PEEPs).
  •     It is an opportunity to get building occupants familiar with the alternative escape routes from buildings, rather than
        falling back on the normal way into and out of the building.

      Students and other building occupants will learn the sound of the fire alarm and how to respond to it, including use
      of alternative escape routes, how to get from the final exits to the fire assembly area; how to look out for friends and
      colleagues; to raise awareness of those who cannot escape without assistance.

      Who arranges a fire drill?
      As a generality it will be the DSA but each building must find its own way of arranging and carrying out the drill. In
      jointly-occupied buildings, DSAs or others responsible for fire safety will need to work together.

      When should a fire drill take place?
      During every term at a time when the building is fully occupied. There is no benefit in holding a fire drill when a building
      is empty or lightly occupied: the drill is a learning exercise so you need to know what goes wrong as well as what works
      well.

      How do I arrange a fire drill?
      Having decided when it will be, the organiser needs to:
        1. Contact the Health and Safety Office on 88780 at least a week in advance so someone can attend and monitor
            the drill.
        2. Contact Maintenance 89898 to advise of the drill and the need for an engineer to attend to operate the alarm
            panel (if the organiser doesn’t know how to do it) and to reset any systems that could shut down when the alarm
            sounds, e.g. heating systems, lifts, gas supplies etc.
      3. On the day of the drill, contact Security on 87848 to advise when the drill will take place. There is no need to
          contact the Fire Brigade to advise of the drill.



    Who do I tell in advance?
    Just the people listed in point three above. Unless it is absolutely essential, building occupants must not be forewarned
    of a drill. If they are, the drill will not be realistic. Exceptions to this must be those situations where advance planning
    needs to be done to avoid unnecessary injury, loss of research or animal life. Those buildings where such risks exist
    should already have suitable procedures in place.

    What to monitor during the drill:
    A record of the overall evacuation time will be needed for the Fire Risk Assessment so it is important the total
    evacuation time is noted and put in the alarm log book;
    Check that those with specific roles carry them out effectively, e.g. fire wardens, porters, Security officers;
    Does every one go to the assembly area or just mill around outside the front door?
    Are all escape routes used or just the main entrance?
    Are there people who do not do the right thing? Have their names been taken?
    Are there people in the building who need assistance to evacuate? Did the procedure work?

    What happens afterwards?
    Once the drill has been completed:
      •   Advise Security that it is over
      •   Allow everyone back in to the building
      •   Have systems reset by Maintenance as required. Some door break-glasses may need to be replaced.
      •   Record the drill in the fire alarm log book
      •   Arrange a de-briefing with fire wardens to check how the drill went
      •   Take steps as necessary to address shortcomings.

    What if I find people who refuse to co-operate and remain in the building?
    With the exception of those people who absolutely must remain in a building when the fire alarm sounds, EVERYONE
    ELSE must evacuate and go to the assembly area. This is not just University Policy it is a requirement of Health and
    Safety Law. Staff or students who deliberately fail to comply should be subjected to the appropriate University
    disciplinary procedures.



Feel free to contact the Fire Safety Adviser if you want advice regarding fire drills.




          Richard Norris
          Fire Safety Adviser
          University of Bristol
          Health and Safety Office
          Richard.Norris@bristol.ac.uk
          Tel: 0117 9288784
          Mob: 07786 397655

				
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