Fire Safety Manual

Fire Safety Manual

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Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information



University of Bristol

Tyndall Ave



Date: September 2014




Emergency Plan and PEEPS


Action in Case of FIRE

Emergency drill

Arranging a Fire drill

Maintenance and Testing Regime

a) Fire Alarm System

Daily Check

Weekly Test

Four Monthly Maintenance & Annual Test

Alarm Activations

b. Emergency Lighting

c. Stand Alone Smoke Detectors

d. Fire Doors

e. Fire Fighting Equipment

f. Electrical fixed installation and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) Testing

g. Refuge communication systems testing

h. Backup Power Supply

i. Dry Risers

Fire exits & escape routes



Gas bottles


Radioactive sources

Other fire hazards

Building Plans

General Information


This Manual details the fire safety arrangements in place at the Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information (NSQI), Tyndall Avenue,Bristol BS8 1FD

The University is required by law to assess the fire safety risk at each of our premises and we want to take appropriate measures, as far as reasonably practicable, to protect lives.

As well as protecting our people, the University also wants to protect property, our neighbours and the environment and to ensure business continuity in the event of a fire.

The aim of this Manual is to use the statutory risk assessment process to establish and document the local management procedures in place to meet these various needs.


The University is the “responsible person” under the law that is required to carry out the fire safety process.

We have to rely on individuals at each location to carry out the process, make sure it is documented, updated, relevant and effective – in other words, that it works.

The individuals the University relies on at NSQI are:

Name / Job Title / Contact Details / Fire safety role
Prof. J. Annett / Head of Physics / 8 8703 / Overall management responsibility on behalf of the Combined building complex of Physics/NSQI and HPC
Prof M. Miles / Director of Centre / 40012 / Management responsibility on behalf of the NSQI
S.R. Neck / Building and Technical Manager
Fire Safety Coordinator / 88741 / Fire Safety Co-ordinator for the combined complex of Physics/NSQI and HPC
S. Bellamy / NSQI Fire Safety Coordinator / 40004 / NSQI Fire Safety Coordinator who will ensure the Risk Assessment has been completed and is regularly updated and that the maintenance and testing procedures detailed in this Manual are in operation
S.Bellamy, P.Dunton, J.Shackleford,
A.Martin / Fire Warden / Fire warden who will:
- Verify there is a fire if the alarm is activated;
- Call out Security/the Brigade if necessary;
- Assist with evacuation of the building and prevent unauthorised re-entry following an alarm
M. Berry / First aiders / 40010
Team of 4 / Physics Porters / 07.30 – 17.30
(In term often to 19.30) / Will carry out regular testing as detailed in this Manual and act as Fire Warden (see above) during portered hours
S. Hyde / Surveyor / 88050 / Will specify and cost improvement/remedial works identified in the FRA
Estates / Electrical & Other Maintenance / Help Desk 89898 / Will respond to call outs in connection with faults in the alarm or emergency lighting and ensure these are repaired

In addition, Richard Norris, the Fire Safety Adviser based at the University’s Health and Safety Office (HSO) is available for advice on fire safety and to deliver training – tel: 0117 92 88784.

Emergency Plan and PEEPS

No people requiring a PEEP are currently in the building


Action in Case of FIRE

  • The building fire alarm system covers all rooms and passageways and should activate on detecting the heat and/or smoke from a fire. This will result in the continuous sounding of the fire alarm. Location of the fire will be indicated on the fire alarm system control panel which is located in the NSQI entrance lobby and replicated in the Physics Porters’ Lodge.
  • The alarm signals automatically to University Security. The duty Physics porter, Building Fire Coordinator (or member of the Building management team) or Department Head must telephone Security as soon as it is known there is a genuine fire (and to stand them down if the signal is a false alarm).
  • If the automatic fire alarm system fails to activate, the person discovering a fire should:
  • Operate the nearest RED manual fire alarm call point;
  • Ring the University Emergency Telephone Number 11 22 33 from the nearest phone (external 0117 331 1223) or 999 should this number fail to be answered;
  • State the building and room number of the fire location;
  • Only attempt to extinguish the fire if you are trained and proficient in the use of fire extinguishers. DO NOT place yourself or others in danger;
  • Report to the Porters’ Lodge, inside the building entrance, and give the porters accurate information about the fire
  • On hearing the fire alarm, all personnel must evacuate the building by the nearest fire exit and muster at either the lawn opposite Senate House or the lawn by Stuart House
  • DO NOT stop to collect your personal belongings
  • DO NOT re-enter the building until instructed to do so
  • Members of staff should ensure that all students and visitors in their immediate area are evacuated
  • SHUT, BUT DO NOT LOCK your room door and close fire doors behind you
  • If you know someone has not left the building, report his or her name and location to a porter, or the fire Marshal

The Fire Wardens, Stewards and Marshals: See departmental instructions in Appendix A

Emergency drill

A formal fire drill will be carried out every term at a time when the building is fully occupied (normally during maximum occupancy).

NOTE: False alarm evacuations are not replacements for formal fire drills.

The drill will be organised by theNSQI Fire Co-ordinator in conjunction with the Combined Building Complex Fire Co-ordinator,who will use it to assess the effectiveness of the fire safety management procedure including

  • Use and effectiveness of fire wardens plus the control of the evacuation and assembly area(s);
  • 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);
  • An opportunity to make staff and students familiar with the alternative escape routes from buildings, rather than falling back on their normal way into and out of the building;
  • Arrangements for visitors and contractors.

Arranging a Fire drill

The organiser (who could be based in Physics) needs to:

  1. Arrange the date and time of the drill;
  2. Contact the Health and Safety Office on 88780 preferably a week in advance so someone can attend and monitor the drill;
  3. The drill is carried out by suitably trained building users without the involvement of Building Services except for the replacement of used break glasses.
  4. Record the drill in the log – Log 1. Fire Drills.
  5. Take any follow up actions that become apparent after the drill.

Maintenance and Testing Regime

a)Fire Alarm System

Warning 1:
The NSQI fire alarm panel is fitted with a university firetest switch. It is vital that the university fire test switch isturned to the ‘test’ position prior to testing and returned tothe ‘normal’ position immediately following testing. Thisswitch ensures that important safety equipment is kept running for the duration of the Fire test.
Warning 2:
There is also a fireman’s override switch fitted at the NSQI fire alarm panel. This should only be used by authorised Fire Service Personnel. This switch will shut down important safety systems which may be harmful to people in the laboratory and preparation areas. In the event this switch is used NSQI management must be consulted prior to anybody entering the laboratory and preparation areas.
It is vital that testing the alarm does not cause unwanted Fire signals to the Brigade.

Daily Check

  • Each day the duty Porter in Physics will visually check the fire alarm panel situated in their lodge to ensure the combined building complex system is active and not showing any faults.
  • The check should be logged each day on the record sheet (Log 2 Daily Fire Alarm Checks)
  • All faults and disabled messages are to be logged on the sheet and telephoned through to the Maintenance Services helpdesk on 89898.
  • Maintenance Services will provide a job number which should be recorded on the sheet.
  • Sheet to be checked weekly by Physics Building Fire Coordinator./ deputy
  • If the fault is in NSQI liaise with the NSQI Management team immediately.

Weekly Test

The weekly tests (each Wednesday between 08:30 and 09:00) are announced on the screens in the foyer

Prior to starting the test a call should be made to Security on 87848, informing them that a weekly fire alarm test is about to take place in the building.

  • The two staff carrying out the test will agree which call point(s) will be tested and check location of call points on the numbered plan[1]. One porter will stay at the panel and one will go to the location where the call point(s) require testing. Each call point has a unique number.
  • The second porter will operatethe panel and check normal operation.
  • The NSQI fire test key switch must be engagedby switching to the ‘test’ position prior to any fire alarm test (see Warning 1 on page 10). The switch ensures the continued operation of important safety systems; failure to engage this switch might be harmful to people in the NSQI labs and preparation areas. The switch must be returned to the ‘normal’ position immediately following each test.
  • The porter at the call point will use the key provided during training to operate the manual call point.
  • The porter positioned at the alarm panel will wait a few seconds for the alarm to ring and then press “silence”, note the information on the panel to ensure the right sounder has been tested, and then press “reset”.
  • On completion of the test the alarm panel will need to be returned to normal operation. Ring Security on 87848 to inform them that the testing is complete and that the alarm is now in normal operation.
  • The weekly fire test log (Log 3) must be completed for the # numbered call points tested and signed off by the Combined Building Complex Fire coordinator / deputy


  • If there are any problems with the alarms during or after the test they must be reported immediately to the Maintenance Services Helpdesk on 89898 (prior to 8am, any problems should be reported to Security who will contact the shift).
  • Manual call points in plant rooms accessed and controlled by Maintenance Services will be tested by Maintenance Services engineers. When a call point in a plant room is due to be tested, please remember to process a job through Maintrix around one week before the test is due, stating the day and time the test is to take place.

Four Monthly Maintenance & Annual Test

  • Maintenance Services will arrange for a contractor to test one third of all active components and an audibility test of the sounders, so that the full system is tested each year.
  • The final visit each year will provide a full service of the fire alarm system and its component parts as recommended by the system manufacturer.
  • The contractor must record the test in the fire alarm system maintenance log – Log 4. (N.B. the Testing Manager, based in Estates Operations also holds a copy of the test record.)
  • The Building Fire Coordinator will check that these regular tests have taken place.

Alarm Activations

  • A record must be kept of all alarm activations, whether genuine or false.
  • Shift maintenance will complete the logbook when they have attended site to deal with false alarms
  • The CombinedBuilding Complex Building Fire Coordinator will ensure these have been logged (Log 5 Fire Alarm Activations).

b.Emergency Lighting

Detail in the works instruction does not tally with the guidance provided by Avon Fire & Rescue.

Tim Rudge has outline the following procedure:

1)Weekly visual check;

2)Monthly – switch on & off;

3)6-monthly – drain 1 hour

4)Annual – drain 3 hours

NSQI systems are self-testing & require only the 6-month and annual drain test.

When lighting in a plant room is scheduled to be tested please process a job through Maintrix about a week before the test is due, stating when the test must take place).

c.Stand Alone Smoke Detectors

None fitted

d. Fire Doors

Fire doors should be closed and not left propped open.
If a fire door has to be propped open for a short period, e.g. a delivery, the prop needs to be removed as soon as the job is finished.
The only acceptable door-opening devices are either an automatic fire door or ‘Dorgard’ – which responds automatically to a fire alarm activation.
Any faults in fire doors should be reported immediately to Maintenance Services on 89898.

A planned preventative maintenance system is in place for fire doors.

NSQI carry out their own 6-monthly fire door check

The inspection entails a visual check of each fire door completing Log 7 (fire door checklist):

Does the door shut properly?

Is it free of holes and damage?

Is the glass tightly fixed (if you tap it, does it rattle?)

Are any gaps around the top and sides small?

Does it have a brush or seal?

Is that brush or seal intact?

Does it have a “Fire Door-Keep Shut” sign?

If the check reveals defects, the log should be sent to the Building Surveyor who will allocate job numbers and return the log to the Building Fire Coordinator to retain in this manual and ensure repairs are carried out.

e.Fire Fighting Equipment

Fire extinguishers and fire blankets and are required to be checked annually and certified as fit for purpose. The Health & Safety Office (HSO) will arrange for their contractor to carry out this annual inspection.
Building Fire Coordinator should contact the Fire Safety Adviser, Richard Norris if this inspection is delayed or has not been carried out.
HSO will complete Log 9: Fire Fighting Equipment Test Record.

In addition, a regular visual inspection should be made to ensure that equipment:

Appears to be undamaged,

The date on the label is within 12 months,

A security tag is in place,

The pressure gauge is in the green zone,

The extinguisher is where it should be on its hook or stand

This will form part of the normal Building Safety inspection regime

f. Electrical fixed installation and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) Testing

Faults in electrical equipment are a major cause of fires in the UK workplace. Fixed electrical installations are maintained and tested by Maintenance Services on a 3 or 5 yearly cycle. Test certificates are held by the testing manager in Maintenance Services. Schools/SSAS should arrange appropriate PAT testing for their departments/sections.

g. Refuge communication systems testing

Fire refuge communication systems will be tested weekly by portering staff. One point is tested each week and where there are multiple refuge points within a building a different point will be tested each week and recorded on Log 11.

h. Backup Power Supply

(Some essential equipment is fitted with a UPS)

Estates Operations arrange for the back up power supply to be tested annually. The Testing Manager in Estates Operations keeps records.

i.Dry Risers

A dry riser is a main vertical pipe intended to distribute water to multiple levels of a building or structure as a component of the fire.

Estates Operations will inspect and test the dry risers twice a year. This will be entered in Log 4.

Fire exits & escape routes

Should be available at all material times, should be free of obstruction, not used for storage of equipment or combustible materials, should not contain anything that can start a fire or allow a fire to spread.

Fire doors across corridor escape routes must only be held open via approved methods (automatic fire doors or Dorgard).

Doors across escape routes must not have mechanical or digital locks to open the doors in the direction of escape. Where locks are required for security reasons they must fail to safety when the alarm sounds, or have a green break glass and suitable signs to allow easy escape.

Final exit doors should be single-action open, e.g. push-bar, thumb latch etc. Where the door is locked with a mag-lock for security reasons it must either fail-safe or have a green break-glass and suitable signs.