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									                           Cavendish Emergency Systems

                             Fire Wardens Handbook

          Fire Warden: ……………………………………

          Responsible for Search Area……………………

          Date: ……………..

Key Contacts in case of Fire:

Contact                                       Name                        Telephone
Emergency No. 24 hour                                                         37499
Laboratory Superintendent                     Peter Bystricky                 37417
Departmental Safety Officer, and
                                              Jane Blunt                      37397
Department Fire manager
University Fire Officer                       Gerry Dacey                     37822
Head of Department                            Prof. Peter Littlewood          37429

Emergency Team:                Peter Bystricky, Jane Blunt, Keith Matthews,
                               Alan Turner

 Handbook collated by P Bystricky & J Blunt
 Version 1.5 March 2008

 This handbook has eleven pages, excluding this
Fire Wardens’ Handbook                                        Cavendish Laboratory

This book outlines the role of the Fire Warden in the Cavendish Laboratory. The facility
occupies over 25000 square metres, and the fire system covers seven main buildings. In
addition to the 700 full-time staff, a large contingent (up to 400) of students and visitors can
be on the premises at any time.

The seven main buildings are:
   • Mott Building
   • Bragg Building
   • Link Building (EMBS call this the Workshop Building)
   • Rutherford Building
   • Microelectronics Building (which in part contains Hitachi, which is covered by their
      own Fire wardens)
   • Superconductivity Building (anticipated to be re-named Kapitza Building)
   • MRI Building (not included in the Cavendish fire warden scheme).

The Physics of Medicine Building is expected to come into the system during 2008. The
Terrapin Building is unoccupied.

  Physics                                                                                    North
    of                                 Rutherford
                   1                                             Micro-
  Medicine                              Building              electronics
                                                               & Hitachi        Super-
                                            Link         5

                                       Bragg Building                                        R
          2                                                                                  I

                                                          3                           4

                          Mott Building
                                                        Cavendish Site

                                                                            Assembly area
                                                                            Normal exit door

                                                                            Emergency exit door

Note: Assembly Area no. 1 was lost during the building works but is expected to be
reinstated to accommodate Rutherford/Physics of Medicine.

Fire Wardens Handbook                    Page 1 of 11                                        March 2008
Fire Wardens’ Handbook                                       Cavendish Laboratory

1      The Fire System
1.1    The Hardware
The buildings are fitted with well over 1000 smoke sensors and selected areas have heat
sensors. Many are easily seen, but additional sensors are present in the ceiling voids. The
exit routes have red manual Fire Call Points, so that anyone finding a fire can raise the alarm
manually, and the final exit doors are either push bar, or have green ‘break glass’ boxes to
over-ride the magnetic locks at night.

Each building behaves as an independent entity, but signals are brought together from the
Slave Panels in the separate zones of the buildings to the Master panel at the entrance to
the Bragg Building. Since the key information and key control facilities are at the Main Panel
at Reception, it is the focal point in any fire alert.

In the Mott, Bragg, Link and Rutherford Buildings the smoke or heat sensors are fully
addressable and when activated the address is relayed to the Main Panel in reception where
the software puts out a message giving the locality of the activated head. Since the sensors
are individually addressed, problems can usually be located rapidly. The Microelectronics
and Superconductivity systems are a little less detailed, giving addresses that require the
search of a zone to find the activated head.

The sirens are in general two-tone and have been set to a loudness level between 65dB and
100dB as required by the regulations. There is only one type of alarm, a continuous ring or
siren, which means evacuate the building. Simultaneously with the sirens being activated,
the magnets release the automatic fire doors, which automatically divide the building into
compartments designed to delay the spread of fire.

The signal from the Main Panel in Reception goes to Security and is then relayed, via BT
Redcare, to the Fire Service. In normal operation once the alarm is triggered the Fire Brigade
will attend automatically. However, if we can make a positive confirmation that it is a false
alarm, the Fire Brigade can be contacted and their response stood-down.

1.2    The Management System
There is currently a team of four people, the Emergency Team, whose names are on the
cover of this booklet. When a fire alarm sounds in normal working hours the alarm is relayed
into Reception, who alert the Emergency team by pager. The Team then congregate in the
Reception area. The Fire Manager, deputised and assisted by any of the other three, is
responsible for checking where the signal is, checking with the fire wardens that the building
is empty, and liaising with the Fire Brigade. A member of the team will also record the event
and investigate if necessary.

If there is a real fire in the buildings, the team will liaise further with the Fire Brigade
regarding the need to move personnel further away or the need to evacuate adjacent
buildings. After an actual fire event the Fire Manager or deputy will liaise with the Head of
Department and/or Senior Management to assess the situation and assist with the plans for
the recovery. They will also need to liaise with others in the University, such as the University
Fire Officer, external bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive and, after a major
event, the University Emergency Management Team.

Fire Wardens Handbook                     Page 2 of 11                               March 2008
Fire Wardens’ Handbook                                     Cavendish Laboratory

There are four major exceptional circumstances where the normal system of
alarm/evacuation is varied:
    • When the system is tested on Monday mornings between 7.30 and 8.30 am. The
       alarms are rung intermittently, successively testing for a brief period one or more call
       points in each building. At this time, normal evacuation and the Redcare link are
    • When parts of the system are disabled to prevent nuisance calls (e.g. smoke
       detectors are switched off or capped). At this time, normal evacuation will take place
       if an alarm is raised manually.
    • When some of the sounders are disabled, to enable Tripos Examinations to proceed
       with as little disturbance as possible. In this instance there is a special procedure.
       The examination candidates are briefed as to the procedure, and the Emergency
       Team is on full alert throughout the period. Evacuation in the rest of the building will
       take place according to the normal procedure. The alarm will be silenced as quickly
       as possible to minimise disturbance if it is confirmed to be a false alarm. If it is
       confirmed to be fire, the exam candidates are evacuated without further delay.
    • Where the Maintenance Team or Emergency Team has put the Department into
       ‘Engineering Test’ by notifying Security to block all fire calls. In these circumstances
       the alarm will sound, evacuation will take place as normal, but the Emergency Team
       will be responsible for checking whether the alarm was false and responding
       accordingly. If there is a fire, they will call the Fire Brigade.

A Schematic of the Normal Procedure

                        Fire Alarm

 Occupants of              Fire Wardens check their               Emergency Team go to
 building go to            area is empty and report               Reception and make
 Assembly Area to          to Reception                           preliminary assessment
 await information
                                                   We are sure there is
                                                                                    There may
                                                   no fire: the Fire
                                                                                    be fire
                                                   Brigade are informed
                                                   and turn back
                All-clear is relayed
                back by the                        The Fire Brigade
                Emergency Team or                  attend and confirm         Team liaise with
                via Fire Wardens                   there is no fire           Fire Brigade

                Messages relayed either                 Fire is confirmed: Fire Brigade
                by the Emergency Team                   direct where personnel should go
                or via the Fire Wardens                 and whether further evacuation is

Fire Wardens Handbook                    Page 3 of 11                               March 2008
Fire Wardens’ Handbook                                       Cavendish Laboratory

2      The Need for Fire Wardens
Fire Wardens are needed for various reasons. You will appreciate that it is impossible to
know who is in the buildings at any time, or where they are, and therefore accounting for
people is very difficult. Human life takes precedence over property and during a fire alert we
must do everything we can to know whether the building is empty or, if this is not the case,
where there are people who are trapped so that they may be rescued. We therefore operate
a sweep system where fire wardens check that an area is empty, if it is safe to do so, on their
way out of the building.

Research has shown that around 50% of people will try to retrace their steps to the entrance
by which they came into a building, regardless of the presence of smoke, etc. Experience
has also shown us that personnel may be reluctant to leave if they believe the alarm to be a
drill. Such behaviour is born of a lack of experience of the rapidity with which fire can spread
and grow. Real-life fire statistics show that these two behaviours can, and do, lead to a great
loss of life. A system of Fire Wardens helps enormously in encouraging a professional
approach to responding to fire alarms.

The main function of the Fire Warden is therefore to seek to ensure the safe evacuation of
those people within their designated area. Each Warden is allocated a geographic area and it
is helpful if each of you can organise deputies since you are not expected to search your
area unless you are very close to it at the time when the alarm sounds.

Fire Wardens are expected to become familiar with their zone, and to be aware of the needs
of the people in the area – and this might include contractors, visitors, cleaners and disabled
persons. You should become familiar with all the escape routes in your area and the
adjacent areas.

Without Fire Wardens we cannot meet our humanitarian and legal obligations to one
another – your job is crucial.

3      Key Jobs of the Fire Warden
Each building is subdivided into floors and each floor into search areas. Each area is
allocated to a Fire Warden and his/her deputies and you will be given a laminated plan
showing your search area coloured in. It is helpful to use this plan during the fire alert and
please show it to the DSO or deputy at Reception. Using coloured plans renders it very easy
to see at a glance if all the building has been searched.

A copy of this booklet and the Department Code of Practice on fire are at this address, under the heading ‘Fire’.

In a fire alarm situation you are asked quickly to sweep through your area, checking that it is
empty. This sweep should include store rooms and toilets (both sexes please! – knock very
loudly on the outside door and just push it open and call in).

If you encounter an able-bodied person who refuses to leave first request, politely and firmly,
that they do. If they refuse to cooperate, simply take their name, note the room number and
continue. Failure to cooperate is serious, since it potentially puts others’ lives at risk. If you
encounter locked doors, knock very loudly, call out, and then continue. Report to the Fire
Team at Reception if you are unsure that your area is empty due to non-cooperation or

Fire Wardens Handbook                     Page 4 of 11                                March 2008
Fire Wardens’ Handbook                                        Cavendish Laboratory

locked doors. In a real fire situation we may need to make enquiries about the occupancy of
the rooms.

If you encounter someone who requires help to leave call Reception (37499) as quickly as
possible, so that First Aiders or other trained personnel can assist.

After the incident has been assessed, if it is found to be a false alarm, you can greatly assist
by taking the message back to the various assembly areas, telling people that they may go
back indoors. It helps therefore if about half of you return to the Assembly point after showing
your plan, and about half of you remain at the Bragg Reception.

If it is a real fire alarm, we may need your assistance quickly to move people to places of
safety at some distance from the buildings.

Outside normal working hours, since the whole system normally focuses around Reception
and an Emergency Team, it does not normally function in the same way. The Fire Brigade
will be alerted, and Security Staff will attend. Any assistance that you can give if you happen
to be here will be gratefully received. It would also help if you report the event to the
Department Safety Officer by e-mail, in person, or by a note in her pigeon hole (date, time,
what happened and who you are, please). If it was a false alarm, this notification is not
urgent. If it was a real fire, which spread beyond the room of origin or caused great disruption
(e.g. the aftermath of the distribution board fire), please attempt to contact the Department
Safety Officer via her home telephone number as soon as possible. If necessary leave a
message on the answering machine.

4       Summaries of Actions to be Taken in the Event of
        Evacuation Alarm
4.1 Occupants of the buildings & visitors

If you find a fire:

    •   Raise the alarm (use red ‘break glass’ boxes)
    •   Ring 1-999
    •   Leave the building by the nearest safe route

Then    In daytime:   report to reception to the fire team
        At night:     report to the Fire Brigade in arrival

If you hear a fire alarm:
     • Leave the building by the nearest safe route
     • Go to an assembly area to await instructions

Exception: alarms are tested before 8.30 am each Monday – you need take no action at that
time provided the alarm is ringing intermittently. Report any faults in fire warning equipment

Fire Wardens Handbook                     Page 5 of 11                               March 2008
Fire Wardens’ Handbook                                       Cavendish Laboratory

4.2 The Evacuation of Those with Reduced Mobility

There are various options for people who cannot manage the stairs. Where these are
visitors, their host should not be taking them upstairs without considering how to get them
down. The options include:
         • Horizontal evacuation at first floor level to an adjacent building where the elevator
             can be used. This is principally from the Bragg to the Mott and vice versa, and
             from the Link to the Rutherford (but not vice versa).
         • Descent in the elevator in the stairwell outside the Pippard Lecture Theatre
         • Descent using the Evac-chairs.

The latter are positioned at various places throughout the site. Those taking a mobility-
impaired person upstairs, where the horizontal evacuation is not possible and they are
unable to descend the stairs, should ensure that their administrator or other person trained in
using the chair, knows that the person is present. Reception staff keep a list of trained evac-
chair users.

4.3 Fire Wardens

Fire Wardens: Actions in the event of the alarm sounding:

• Wear your fluorescent jacket – it makes you conspicuous
• Search your area thoroughly – check store rooms, toilets etc.
• Report to the Departmental Safety Officer or Laboratory Superintendent at the Control
  Point at the entrance to the Bragg Building. Show your floor plan – it is a very rapid way of
  confirming that everywhere is clear.
• Report any problems encountered in your area (e.g. people who refuse to leave, people
  with impaired mobility who require assistance, fire, smoke, areas that could not be

For your safety:
• DO NOT go into areas containing smoke
• DO NOT go into areas where you can see established fire
• If you find a door closed, feel it with the back of your hand before opening – if it is hot DO

If you find fire, and it is VERY minor, you may tackle it with an extinguisher, provided

                       The alarm has already been raised
                       You know how to choose the right extinguisher
                       You know how to use it
                       You are not putting yourself at risk
                       Your escape route is clear
If you succeed in putting it out, get someone to stay close by to ensure that it does not re-
ignite. You need to report to Reception.

You may be asked to assist in marshalling people to places of safety if there is a major
outbreak. You may be asked for your assistance in reporting the incident.

Never place yourself at any risk!
The Fire warden needs to be recognised and seen. Fluorescent jackets will be

Fire Wardens Handbook                     Page 6 of 11                                March 2008
Fire Wardens’ Handbook                                     Cavendish Laboratory

4.4 Reception Staff

Panel indicating ‘Fire’ condition:           Call Fire brigade
                                             Activate Emergency Team’s Pagers
Emergency Team:                       J Blunt, K Matthews, P Bystricky, A Turner

Contact the First Aid coordinator
On request: contact First Aiders in unaffected buildings

For other faults appearing on the Fire panel:       Page the Emergency Team

4.5    First Aiders

The main function of the First Aid team is to tend to any casualties that have arisen. If
there are none, they may be asked to assist in marshalling personnel to places of

   •   Assemble initially at the Control Point at the entrance to the Bragg Building, unless
       already engaged in first aid activity
   •   The Coordinator of the First Aid Team should liaise with the Departmental Safety
       Officer or Laboratory Superintendent.

4.6 Maintenance Staff

The Plant Rooms, roof, and other Maintenance locations are unlikely to have been searched
by the Fire Wardens.

   •   Ensure that you can account for all your staff
   •   Ensure that you can account for any sub-contractors that are on site – check for
       permits to work in the box outside K Matthews’ office.
   •   Report on the whereabouts of these two groups to the Departmental Safety Officer or
       Laboratory Superintendent at the Control Point at the Entrance to the Bragg Building.

Fire Wardens Handbook                    Page 7 of 11                               March 2008
Fire Wardens’ Handbook                                        Cavendish Laboratory

4.7 Emergency Team

Emergency Team: Actions to take in the event of the fire alarms sounding

  1.   Go to the Master Panel at the front of the Bragg Building, to discover the source of the
  2.   Wear the fluorescent ‘Duty Officer’ coat that is stored by the Master Panel - it allows
       people to identify your specific role.
  3.   Check the status of the fire system – is it on ‘Engineer Test’ with Security?

If the system is operating normally proceed as follows:

  1.   Try to ascertain the cause of the alarm, preferably from eyewitness accounts.
  2.   If it is certain that there is no fire, ring Security and ask for the Fire Brigade response to
       be stood down.
  3.   Liaise with the Fire Wardens to check that the building is empty, or identify any area
       where someone may be left. Ensure no-one re-enters the building at this stage. (You
       may request the help of the Fire Wardens).
  4.   Check that people are at assembly points, and not hovering around the external doors,
       under the bridges, etc. Request the help of the Fire Wardens in this operation.
  5.   If there is an injured person at an assembly point, ensure that the First Aid team get this
       information so that they can give assistance, and get an ambulance if needed.
  6.   Liaise with the Maintenance team regarding any people who may be in places that
       might not have been searched (e.g. the roof)
  7.   Report to the Fire Brigade if they have not been cancelled at 2.
  8.   When it is confirmed that there is no fire, visit all relevant assembly areas (or send word
       to Fire Wardens) to allow the people back into the building.
  9.   In the event of a real fire, which is out of control, liaise with the Fire Brigade as to the
       place where they would like personnel to go. (probably the Vet School)

               If the System is on ‘Engineer Test’ with Security
  1.   Check whether the alarm signal at the panel corresponds to the area described on the
       card hanging from the door.
  2.   Try to ascertain the cause of the alarm, preferably from eyewitness accounts, but you
       may appoint someone from the emergency team to make an observation.
  3.   If in ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER whether it is a false alarm call the Fire Brigade.
  4.   Continue as in items 3 to 9 above.

  If you are absolutely certain that the alarm is false
  5. Leave the alarm sounding, to evacuate the building completely.
  6. Liaise with the Fire Wardens, to check that the building has been emptied.
  7. Decide as a team when to silence the alarm, and what instructions to give to the Fire
       Wardens, depending on circumstances.

   NEVER turn off the alarm unless you are absolutely sure
                     that there is no fire

NEVER turn off the alarm in the first instance, until AFTER the building has
been emptied and checked – it creates confusion if you do.

Fire Wardens Handbook                      Page 8 of 11                                 March 2008
Fire Wardens’ Handbook                                        Cavendish Laboratory

5      Fighting Fire
As a Fire Warden you are not expected to fight fire, but you are encouraged to learn about
fire extinguishers.

In the event of a fire, equipment is provided so that, if it is discovered at a very early stage
and is small, it can be tackled in a safe manner.

Throughout the University the usual types of extinguishers are water, dry powder and carbon
dioxide. With the introduction of the current British Standard BSEN3 all fire extinguishers are
now coloured red with a coloured band or coloured writing indicating the type of media. White
indicates water, black indicates carbon dioxide and blue indicates dry powder.

Extinguishers should only be used:
    • After the fire alarm has been activated.
    • When there is a clear safe exit route.
    • When you have the correct type of extinguisher and know how to use it.

Extinguishers are generally sited on escape routes and adjacent to fire alarm call points.

EXTINGUISHER                                                     Carbon
USER GUIDE                          Water           Foam                           Powder
Wood, paper, textiles

Flammable liquids,
greases, oils

Fires   with        electrical
                                      NO!               NO!

                                                                                    Needs a
Metals (e.g. magnesium
and aluminium)
                                      NO!               NO!           NO!           special

      is positively recommended,
NO! is positively discouraged and is usually dangerous,
The absence of a symbol is neutral – the extinguisher can be used but is not ideal.

Any extinguisher which has been used either partially or completely should be removed from
service and taken to either the Laboratory Superintendent or the Safety Officer, who will
arrange its replacement.

Fire Wardens Handbook                    Page 9 of 11                                 March 2008
Fire Wardens’ Handbook                                      Cavendish Laboratory

6      Other Elements of the Fire System

You should try to be aware of the following items, where appropriate to your area:
• Changes in floor layout
• Corridor markings and signs
• Fire doors (including those with self closing devices, release devices and smoke seals)
• Storage arrangements and housekeeping
• Door furniture and security devices
• Fire resisting walls, floors ceilings
• Fire safety signs
• External staircases
• Emergency lighting
• Wall coverings and Floor coverings

All of these items influence the availability of escape routes. Escape routes should normally
be not less than 1.1 metres wide and should never be obstructed. It is wise to check
occasionally that final exit doors open, that security devices operate easily and agreed
storage arrangements are maintained.

The Maintenance Department have programmes for ensuring that the fire systems work, but
as Fire Wardens you can assist in getting faults rectified quickly, because you are likely to
see them sooner.

After a fire alarm, there are fire shutters and fire dampers in some areas that must be reset,
and this function is performed by maintenance personnel.

Fire safety signs are one of the vital parts of fire safety arrangement within departments. Fire
doors which should be kept shut are indicated with notices stating “FIRE DOOR KEEP
SHUT” and similar signs are provided upon other doors, shutters, etc. which fulfil a specific
function. Encourage people in your area to abide by the instructions on the signs, but if you
cannot get cooperation, please inform the Department Safety Officer.

Fire exit signs identify escape routes within buildings particularly those that are not in
common use or are unfamiliar to the occupant. It is essential that those signs fitted by the
University Fire Office are maintained and when necessary replaced. If a luminaire appears
not to be working properly, please report it to the Safety Officer or Maintenance Department.

When rooms are refurbished, signs often get taken down and lost. Please inform the
Department Safety Officer if a sign is missing.

Fire Wardens Handbook                    Page 10 of 11                               March 2008
Fire Wardens’ Handbook                                    Cavendish Laboratory

7      Summary of the Search Areas
As a Fire warden you will have been allocated a Fire search area, the number of which you
should indicate on the cover sheet of this document. You will be given a laminated copy of
your plan, with the area for which you have been given responsibility coloured in. Please use
this plan as a token, to be handed in or shown to the Departmental Safety Officer or
Laboratory Superintendent, in the event of an evacuation.

(Where it is known to be a false alarm, the Safety Officer merely needs to see the plan in
your hand. If there were a real fire the plans should be handed in so that we know which
areas have been cleared).

Search Areas:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5,              Mott Building Second Floor
Search Areas:   5A, 5B, 6, 7, 8,            Mott Building First Floor
Search Areas:   9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15   Mott Building Ground Floor
Search Areas:   16, 17, 18, 19,             Bragg Building First Floor
Search Areas:   20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27      Bragg Building Ground Floor
Search Areas:   29                          Link Building First Floor
Search Areas:   30                          Link Building Ground Floor
Search Areas:    31, 32, 33                 Rutherford Building First Floor
Search Areas:   34, 35, 36, 37              Rutherford Building Ground Floor
Search Areas:   38, 39                      Microelectronics Building First Floor
Search Areas:   40, 41                      Microelectronics Building Ground Floor
Search Areas:   42                          Superconductivity Building First Floor
Search Areas:   43                          Superconductivity Building, Ground floor
To be advised                               Physics of Medicine

Fire Wardens Handbook                   Page 11 of 11                             March 2008

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