SAFETYLINE Extra

Fire Service Strike - January 2003

The Fire Brigade Union have stated they intend to strike at 9.00 am on 21st January to 9.00 am on 22nd January (24 hours), from 9.0 am on 28th January to 9.00 am on 30th January (48 hours) and at 9.00 am on 1st February to 9.00 am on 3rd February (48 hours). Other dates may follow.

As before Emergency “Green Goddess” cover will be at 25% of normal emergency fire fighting cover, and they will have no BA trained personnel so they will not be able to enter smoke filled atmospheres to fight fires. The University will provide a Response Team to investigate all suspected fires of unknown origin as soon as possible after the alarm activation However, your co-operation during theses periods will be vital if we are to have the same degree of success at avoiding fire activations as during the strikes before Christmas. 

 For the duration of any Fire Brigade strike , the University should: -

1. Take preventative actions to minimise risks to staff, students and visitors: -

·        Ensure everyone knows the University’s Emergency Procedure in the event of a fire.

·        Ensure everyone knows that 

-          All-red fire extinguishers (water) are for fighting wood, paper and fabric fires 

-          Red extinguishers with a black flash (CO2 gas) are for fighting electrical fires.

-          Red extinguishers with blue flash (powder) are for fighting all types of fires.

·         Consider asking staff who can work effectively from home to do so.

·         Mobility disabled people to work in ground floor offices / rooms or asked to work at home or ensure a procedure is in place to assist them to get out safely.

·         Everyone should wear ID badges and people without them should be challenged.

·         Improve access control into buildings where possible to minimise unauthorised persons.

2. Take preventative actions to minimise risks to buildings: -

·         Building opening hours to be altered, where possible, to 0800 hours to 1800 hours.

·         Continuous manning of Porters Lodges during opening hours to monitor fire alarm panels.

·         Increased awareness of fire safety risks and increased vigilance by staff and students.

·         Ban on use of supplementary heaters & toasters, and remove paper on door vision panels. 

·         Microwave ovens to be supervised during use.

·         Review experimental work - reduce use of flammable gases & solvents and volumes of solvents stored in labs. Store solvents securely. Minimise high risk activities.

·         Switch off all electrical equipment overnight or when not in use, where possible.

·         Supervise all hot work carefully to minimise the risk of ignition of combustibles.

·         Check work areas daily to remove combustibles. Check electrical cables for damage.

·         Ask for Volunteers to check buildings, floors / areas, in the event of an alarm, before evacuating. They will need means to contact Control Room quickly (e.g. radio, mobile phone)

 3. Respond positively to incidents to minimise risks to staff, students & buildings: - 

·         Use existing emergency procedure to raise the alarm and inform Control Centre (4444)

·        Evacuate the building immediately in the event of a fire alarm.

·         Where location of alarm activation is known, pass information to Volunteers to validate alarm

·         Check for signs of fire carefully before opening doors e.g. look through windows, feel if doors or door handles are warm / hot. Crouch when opening door and open door very slowly. 

·         DO NOT OPEN A DOOR IF YOU SUSPECT A FIRE IS BEHIND IT

·         When location checked, inform Control immediately to confirm if fire or false alarm.

·         University to set up “on-call” list of staff from FMD and other departments who can attend a building quickly out of normal hours, to check for evidence of a fire. Staff must have relevant keys, access codes and means of contacting Control Centre immediately.

 YOU ARE NOT EXPECTED TO FIGHT FIRES OR PUT YOURSELF AT ANY RISK.


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This information has been provided by b.a.coddington@sheffield.ac.uk,
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