Fire Safety Unit

General guidance on evacuation methods

General guidance for staff and students on evacuation methods

Assisted Evacuation Procedures

The Assisted Evacuation Procedure PDF can be printed and used as a leaflet for events, information at reception desks etc, to ensure all students, staff and visitors are aware of the University's assisted evacuation procedures, which are also outlined below.

Assisted Evacuation Procedures signage

Use of lifts

The use of lifts during a fire or an alarm activation is strictly prohibited. However, there are several relevant premises that do have evacuation lifts specifically provided for evacuation purposes. These lifts are provided for the safe and efficient evacuation of persons with specific physical impairments and must only be operated by trained staff. Under no circumstances should evacuation lifts be operated by anyone other than a trained member of staff with specific knowledge and training in relation to safe evacuation procedures for the relevant premise.

Where Temporary Waiting Spaces and evacuation lifts are present, the evacuation procedures require to be incorporated within the Fire Action Plan for the relevant premise.

Evacuation Chairs

People with disabilities proceed to Temporary Waiting Spaces where they are required to self-transfer onto evacuation chairs and are evacuated by a trained recovery team using the staircases provided. This method is also the alternative for lift evacuation.

Phased Evacuation

People with disabilities evacuate to other areas of a building and await further assistance. This method is dependent on the type of alarm system and compartmentation provided in the building.

Immediate Evacuation

Specific provisions may be necessary for some people with mobility difficulties where they would self-transfer onto an evacuation chair and be immediately evacuated from the building. Generally in use where other methods of evacuation cannot be provided.

Buddy System

On fire alarm activity a person in the building is assigned to escort and assist the individual from the building. This would generally be provided for people with visual or hearing impairment. Further information and in-depth detail should be given to the person requiring assistance and School/Support Group department on the method of evacuation when confirming the PEEP.

Where a student requires a ‘buddy’ to assist with evacuation, who the buddy is should be agreed between the student and the School. Depending upon the building being accessed, it could be that the lecturer/tutor of the class the student is attending would act as the buddy, however, in some circumstances the student may have identified another individual to act as a buddy. All persons involved in the buddy system must be made aware of the agreed process and be in agreement to act as the buddy.

If a member of teaching staff requires a buddy, the School (via the Line Manager) should identify a suitable person who works for the school to act as a buddy and who is able to be contacted easily in emergency situation.  You must also take into account when these staff work in buildings not managed by the home-school.

For all other staff, the individual and their Line Manager should identify a number of suitable persons to act as a buddy. An appropriate number of potential buddies should be identified so as to provide cover in the event a buddy is not available.