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FIRE SAFETY FOR FIRE WARDENS Richard Norris, Fire Safety Adviser.

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Presentation on theme: "FIRE SAFETY FOR FIRE WARDENS Richard Norris, Fire Safety Adviser."— Presentation transcript:

1 FIRE SAFETY FOR FIRE WARDENS Richard Norris, Fire Safety Adviser

2 2 SESSION OBJECTIVES Introductions and background General Fire Safety Fire alarm investigation Fire Warden role Home Fire Safety

3 3 Introductions and Background Domestics Refreshments Toilets Fire Alarm / Assembly area Format of the session Rest break – optional? Why the need for trained fire wardens?

4 4 QUESTION: Who is responsible for fire safety in your building? EVERYONE IN THE BUILDING! That includes Students, Contractors, Visitors

5 5 What is a fire? … A fire can be defined as A chemical reaction called combustion that involves the rapid oxidisation of combustible materials, accompanied by a release of energy in the form of heat and light…

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8 8 FIRE TRIANGLE Ignition Sources/Heat Hot Surfaces Electrical equipment Static electricity Smoking/naked flames Oxygen Air we breath (21% O2) Additional sources from oxidising substances & cylinders Fuel Flammable gases Flammable liquids Flammable solids

9 9 How does fire spread? Conduction – occurs when heat is directly applied to a material, which then transfers the heat to other locations e.g. metal girders Convection – is the process where heat is transferred by hot air and smoke travelling through buildings unchecked Radiation – is the heat we feel given off by a fire Also consider: Fire creep Burning embers Flashover

10 10 BURNING ISSUES Fires dont make appointments Fires can occur at home and at work All big fires start as little fires People die in fires every day – most are killed by smoke Knowing what to do saves lives Flashover

11 11 University of Bristol fires: 30 since January in Hall study bedrooms / 4 in Hall kitchens / Chemistry 07 / Engineering 08 / Students Union September 09 Most caused by faults with electrical equipment This does not include cooking fires where people have left cooking unattended and it has started to smoulder! 100s false fire alarms EVERY YEAR!


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14 14 Student building shut after fire ( ) A university students' union building has been closed after a large fire broke out. The blaze broke out at the canoe club inside the building on Queen's Road in Bristol. A fire service spokesman said the swimming pool was also affected. The cause of the fire is under investigation. (PRESS) A fire in a storage area adjacent to the University of Bristol's Students' Union Building has caused some smoke damage to the premises, and consequently the building will be closed for at least 48 hours."


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17 17 Raise the alarm Examples of a current Fire Action Notice adjacent the red fire alarm break-glass (Manual Call Point)

18 18 Escape / Evacuate the building Pass through fire doors and follow the escape signs through the place of relative safety (escape route) to the place of ultimate safety – through the final exit to the fresh air outside.

19 19 Go to the assembly area A typical assembly point / assembly area sign. Stay there until you are told it is OK to go back to work, or the building cannot be re-entered – go home or elsewhere.

20 20 ON DISCOVERY OF A FIRE First priority is to raise the alarm, but how? Do you call Security or the fire brigade – dial , 88777, or 999 or something else? ( off-precinct?) Fight the fire ONLY if competent to do so Leave the building by your NEAREST means of escape Go to the assembly area

21 21 When the fire alarms sound….. Does it mean evacuate or prepare to evacuate? Is it just a test or the real thing? It is essential we all react correctly

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23 23 USE OF EXTINGUISHERS IS VOLUNTARY SO DO IT ONLY… After raising the alarm If you have a clear means of escape To aid your escape (unless you are competent?) In the very early stages of a small fire If you are aware of different types of fire extinguisher

24 Fire Extinguisher Types Water Red: paper, wood, etc. – organic solids. Not electrical equipment, liquids or gases Foam Cream Foam Cream: solids & liquids Not electrical equipment or gases Powder Blue: solids, liquids, gases & electrical equipment CO 2 Black: liquids, electrical equipment, safe on most small fires Fire blanket Good extinguisher for general use – MUST cover the whole fire

25 25 Prevention of fire Store flammable liquids correctly Sources of ignition to be controlled Ensure that electrical equipment is checked Store combustible waste correctly

26 26 Means of Escape Can fire doors ever be wedged or held open? Have fire doors, installed to help prevent the spread of smoke, fumes and fire Allow a safe exit from a building Must be kept clear and available at all times

27 27 PRINCIPAL FACTORS AFFECTING MEANS OF ESCAPE Building construction: Primary construction Secondary construction Compartmentation Fire points Stairwells / enclosures Passive fire safety measures Active fire safety measures Occupancy: numbers, activities, capabilities Design features (intended use, numbers of people: exits, travel distances, time of evacuation) Management control

28 28 Fire Alarm Investigation – Why? 1.To comply with the Universitys Fire Safety Policy - approved in July aimed at reducing the number of false alarm attendances the University generates 2.To comply with the Avon Fire and Rescue Service ProcedureCall Challenge introduced in October 2007.

29 29 Fire Alarm Investigation – How? Ideally the investigation team is three people: one at the alarm panel, two to investigate cause of activation. Circumstances must dictate. Searchers use correct techniques. Maintain radio or mobile phone contact with the person at the alarm panel. Always be prepared to abandon the search.

30 30 Fire Alarm Investigation - Failsafe Always rely on your instinct – if it doesnt feel right, dont go any further, abandon the search and get the Brigade out. If you see smoke or flame or if you smell smoke, abandon the search and get the Brigade out. Double Knock – smoke is spreading and more detectors are activating Manual call point – assume a real fire, do not investigate, call the Brigade Heat detector – less sensitive than a smoke detector – assume a real fire and call the Brigade Investigation time (two-stage alarm system only)

31 31 Investigation Techniques Use hands, eyes, nose and ears! Scan the area you are approaching but dont forget to regularly check to the sides and behind Note locations of manual call points and fire extinguishers Touch walls/doors etc with the back of the hand Feel doors for heat before opening, starting at the top How to open the door safely … If heat felt or smoke seen/smelt DONT open the door – ABANDON THE SEARCH AND CALL THE BRIGADE Look for signs of detector activation: (rapid flash or permanently on LED)

32 32 THE FIRE WARDEN ROLE What is a Fire Warden ? The primary objective of a fire warden is to check that their designated area has been cleared and report to the person controlling the evacuation They may be required to assist people from the building that cannot escape unaided They may be involved with crowd control and moving people away from the building towards the assembly area. They may be involved in monitoring final exits to prevent people re- re-entering the building before being authorised to do so. Fire Wardens may also be involved in the preparation of fire evacuation plans, in risk assessments and generally promoting fire safety

33 33 FIRE WARDEN ROLE – normal day to day activities Monitor access and egress routes including refuges if installed Dont allow house-keeping to slip (build-up of fire load) Keep an eye on extinguishers, smoke detectors, emergency lights, escape signs and fire doors. Co-ordinate / liaise with other Fire Wardens Over a period of time check the fire alarm can be heard in all locations/rooms.

34 34 FIRE WARDEN DUTIES – when the alarm sounds Put on any issued distinctive clothing (e.g. high viz jacket) Plan your sweep so that you always move towards your floor exit If possible, turn off equipment and close doors/windows as you pass Check all accessible rooms including toilets, and refuges if installed. Communicate to all the need to evacuate using designated routes Post-evacuation debriefing meetings What if you find someone who refuses to evacuate? What if you are not in your area when the alarm sounds?

35 35 Report to the incident controller that your floor is clear, or advise of the name and precise location of any person needing assistance. Take the name of any one who refuses to leave and report them to the officer in charge of the evacuation. Fire Warden Duties – when the alarm sounds Assist the incident controller with crowd control, ensuring adequate access for the fire brigade Monitor final exit doors to prevent unauthorised re-entry into the building? REMEMBER IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES DO NOT PUT YOURSELF AT ANY EXTRA RISK Health & Safety at Work etc. Act It shall be the duty of every employee while at work : a) to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work ; and b) as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with.

36 36 EVACUATION OF DISABLED PERSONS PEEPs Refuges When should disabled evacuate? Who provides assistance? What about the unknown visitor People organising meetings / events

37 37 Home fire safety … Install smoke alarms … Close downstairs doors at night …Teach the family how to react to fire … Know what to do if a fire starts … GET OUT ! STAY OUT!! GET THE FIRE BRIGADE OUT !!!


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40 40 Summary Fire deserves our respect Treat all alarms as real unless told otherwise On discovery of a fire - raise alarm - call the Fire Brigade - leave building Know all of your escape routes Fire Prevention is better than Fire Fighting We all carry responsibility for fire safety

41 41 Further Information or for a free home fire safety visit (Home Fire Safety) Health and safety Executive (HSE) website: Health and Safety Office website:

42 42 OBJECTIVES COVERED Introductions and background General Fire Safety Fire alarm investigation Fire Warden role Home Fire Safety

43 43 THANK YOU! Contact me on: , or

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