Everyone has a role in ensuring that the School's fire precautions and arrangements work effectively.This page provides information on these arrangements and what you must do.
Action to take in the event of a fire
All staff, students and other visitors including contractors must know what action to take in the event of fire:
On discovering a fire or suspected fire
Alert others by activating the fire alarm by breaking the nearest 'break glass' call point.
On the Houghton Street site, the person discovering the fire should use an internal telephone to dial 666 to inform the security control room of the location of the fire. The security control room will summon the fire brigade. Staff working at other sites must know who is responsible for summoning the fire brigade
Persons should evacuate the building and proceed to the designated fire assembly point, see attached map showing fire assembly points on campus (PDF)
Persons should be warned not to attempt to tackle a fire unless they have been trained to do so. If they have been trained in the use of fire extinguishers they may attempt to attack the fire using the extinguishers provided, without placing themselves at risk. They must always ensure that there is an escape route between themselves and the fire.
On hearing the fire alarm
Immediately evacuate the building using the nearest escape route and proceed to the fire assembly point. Lifts must not be used.
Doors should be closed as persons leave, and if possible windows too.
Follow instructions given by Fire Wardens or LSE Security staff.
Persons must remain at the assembly point until they are informed by either the fire brigade or a member of the security team that it is safe to return to the building.
The fire alarm systems in the Towers and the New Academic Building operate differently from other buildings on campus, these buildings have a two-stage system, see link for details.
Persons with disabilities
Anyone who is unable to evacuate the building using the stairs, should be directed to the nearest fire refuge point. Once in the refuge they should use the telephone located in the area to let the security control room know where they are. They should wait in the refuge area for further instructions.
If the building does not have any designated fire refuge points persons unable to use the stairs should wait in a lobby protected by fire doors for assistance.
Fire wardens must notify Security or the incident officer at the assembly area if anyone has been directed to a fire refuge point or is waiting for assistance in a protected lobby.
Once notified Security will arrange for a team of trained volunteer assistors to go to the fire refuge point to assist the disabled person to safety evacuate from the building. If a person as a mobility impairment, the evacuation team may use an evacuation chair to take the disabled person down the stairs in buildings without a dedicated evacuation lift. See link to video on how the evacuation chair is used.
Any student or member of staff who has a mobility or sensory impairment (whether temporary or permanent) which may affect their ability to respond to a fire and evacuate the building should contact Allan Blair, Director of Facilities Management, so that a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan can be developed for them.
The School aims to appoint adequate numbers of fire wardens and marshals to assist with any evacuation. Fire wardens will be assigned a specific area or floor of a building
The fire warden's role is, when the fire alarm sounds, to check their designated area to ensure that it is clear and report to the senior fire warden or incident officer at their designated assembly point. Fire wardens are not expected to fight fires or to place themselves at risk! They will receive training to ensure that they can undertake their duties safely.
Fire wardens are also asked to report to their safety coordinator any defects in fire equipment, e.g. a fire door not closing, or a fire extinguisher that has been tampered with.
Staff should know who is the fire warden for the area or floor where they are working. (Go the the link for the list of Fire Wardens on Campus [PDF]). In some areas of the campus it will not be possible to appoint a fire warden, e.g. in areas where there are only teaching rooms and no one is permanently located. In the event of the fire alarm sounding, staff using these areas must immediately evacuate the building and report to the senior fire warden or incident officer at the assembly area, giving details of the location they have vacated and whether or not it has been cleared of persons.
The Security Incident officer will then convey this information to the fire brigade.
In teaching rooms and lecture theatres where it is not possible to appoint permanent fire wardens, teaching staff are responsible for ensuring that students or other persons attending their class or lecture evacuate the teaching room when the fire alarm sounds. Teaching staff must report to Security at the fire assembly point to advise them on which room they have vacated and whether any person is waiting at a fire refuge point for assistance. See general fire instructions for teaching staff (PDF) and fire instructions for staff teaching in the New Academic Building (PDF).
Trained and designated departmental fire wardens may at the discretion of their line manage receive one day's leave in lieu (pro-rated for part time staff). This does not apply to security and catering departments where separate arrangements exist due to operational reasons.
Regular drills will be conducted to test the effectiveness of the School fire arrangements. All staff and students must cooperate and evacuate the building when the fire alarm sounds.
Failure to cooperate with the School's arrangements for health and safety and fire is a criminal offence, and could result in the individual being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive or the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.
Fire equipment and fire safety systems
The Estates Division is responsible for providing and maintaining fire fighting equipment, fire detection and fire systems, and structural fire protection, such as fire doors, fire protected escape routes etc in the School.
It is a criminal offence to misuse or tamper with any fire safety system. Therefore persons must not:
- recklessly discharge or misuse any fire extinguisher;
- block fire escape routes, as this may result in persons being unable to exit the building safely in the event of a fire; or
- wedge open fire doors, as these are designed to protect escape routes and prevent the spread of toxic smoke and fumes. (The majority of deaths in fires are the result of inhalation of toxic smoke and fumes.)
Report defects in fire equipment and fire doors to the Estates office on their emergency number 2444. If you have any concerns regarding the fire arrangements in your building you should contact Allan Blair.
Everyone has a role to play in reducing the risk of fire:
- Do not overload electrical sockets, or tamper with plug fuses
- Take care with portable heating appliances. Always check with the Estates Department that the building's electrical supply is capable of taking the load. Radiant heaters, ie fires with an exposed element or flame, must not be used. LPG heaters must not be used.
- Observe the 'no-smoking' signs. (Smoking is not permitted in any building on campus, or in halls of residence.) Take care with smoking materials. Make sure that they are safely extinguished in a suitable receptacle before entering any building
- Any building or maintenance work involving heat sources, e.g. welding, must be controlled by a 'permit to work' system
- If smoke is discovered coming from underneath a door or where a door or handle is hot, do not open the door, but sound the alarm and summon the fire brigade.
All employees shall receive appropriate information and instruction to ensure that they understand the School's fire precautions and the action to be taken in the event of fire.
Students will be given information on fire safety in their induction packs. The Conferences and Events team will ensure that organisers are provided with fire safety information for event organisers (PDF) and visitors attending events at the School are made aware of the School arrangements for fire and other emergencies.
Departments are responsible for ensuring that any visitors to their departments evacuate safely in the event of a fire. The Estates Division will ensure that any contractor working on site know what action to take in the event of fire and evacuate the building when the alarm sounds. Managers in halls of residence are required to ensure that similar arrangements are in place for their contractors.
Fire action notices will be posted in all teaching rooms, and in lobbies and adjacent to fire exits.
Fire information for teaching staff (PDF) will be circulated at the beginning of each academic year.
If anyone has a mobility difficulty that prevents them from using the stairs, they should be directed to the nearest fire refuge point. Once in the refuge they should use the telephone located in the area to let the security control room know where they are. They should wait in the refuge area for further instructions. Fire wardens will also notify the incident officer at the assembly area if anyone has been directed to a fire refuge point. (The School's arrangements for evacuating non-ambulant persons are set out in the School's fire safety procedures.)
Fire risk assessments
The Estates Division will arrange for fire risk assessments to be undertaken of School premises.
Information on the findings of risk assessment together with the recommendation provided by the School's fire consultants will be made available to relevant persons working in or using the premises to which the risk assessment relates.