Fire Safety Unit

Managing fire risks

Managing fire risks

General awareness

It is recognised that the likelihood of a fire developing within an occupied premises can be reduced through good fire safety management. To ensure the risk is minimised all members of the University community are required to consider the following points:-

  • Personal electrical heating appliances should not be utilised within University premises.
  • All electrical appliances and lighting should be switched of when not in use (electrical appliances designed to be left on accepted).
  • Where portable gas appliances are introduced, consultation with the Fire Safety Unit is mandatory.
  • The use of electrical extension cables should be kept to a minimum, and cables should never be concealed under flooring or floor coverings.
  • The use of toasters, microwaves and other similar cooking devices should be restricted to kitchens and designated ‘food-prep’ spaces.
  • The use of candles, tea-lights and similar effects are prohibited within University buildings, unless they have an accompanying risk assessment. Where they are utilised, they require to be continually monitored and never allowed to burn unattended.
  • The provision of flammable waste containers is prohibited within protected stair enclosures and adjacent to main entrances.
  • Religious and Cultural Celebrations:
    • Decorations such as artificial and dried foliage/trees/displays etc., are required to be made from inherently flame-retardant materials, or have been suitably treated with a flame-retardant application.
    • Decorations should not compromise the means of escape from a premise, i.e. they are not sited adjacent to fire exit doors or within stair enclosures.
    • Decorative lights should only utilised through a 9v transformer.
    • Decorations should not be suspended or attached to known heat sources such as lighting units.

The above list is representative of common known causes of ignition and is not intended to be an exhaustive list, care requires to be exercised at all times when dealing with potential ignition sources. Should any doubts arise in relation to the risk associated with potential ignition sources, the Fire Safety Unit should be consulted.

Managing external fire risks

The threat of fire-spread from external waste containers requires to be managed robustly. In this connection no waste containers should be placed against a building at any time. Where waste skips are utilised for construction works and similar projects they require to be placed a minimum of 6m from any building or structure. Where a waste skip has to be placed within 6m it will require to be an enclosed type managed appropriately to minimise the associated fire-spread risks.

Similarly, where any type of temporary structure is utilised there should be no openings facing onto any existing building where such structures are within 6m of an existing building.

The build-up of waste and refuse should not be permitted against any building. Where areas are recognised as being prone to such risks, management processes require to be applied to limit the risks.