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Department of Engineering Health & Safety


Raising the alarm

On discovering a fire, raise the alarm by shouting FIRE FIRE FIRE! (to alert anyone in the immediate vicinity) and then activate the nearest push-glass fire alarm call-point (small red box, close to major exits).

If safe to do so, use an appropriate fire extinguisher to tackle the fire, but only if your exit is clear.

Leave the building by the nearest exit.

Report location of fire (room number) to the Fire Safety Manager attending the Fire System Panel in the Reception Foyer or to the Fire Marshal at your Assembly Point.

 If the site requires evacuation for any other reason (e.g. bomb threat), the Head of Department, Departmental Secretary or Departmental Safety Officer will authorise the activation of the alarm via a fire panel.

Evacuation procedure


On hearing a continuous siren, leave the building immediately by the nearest exit.  Escort any visitors/contractors from the building.

If an intermittent alarm is heard, there is a fire alert that requires investigation.  Be prepared to leave if this becomes a continuous siren.

Report to the appropriate Assembly Point.


James Dyson Building, JDB Link and Reception Foyer           

Coe Fen

Remainder of Baker Building and Inglis Building

Coe Fen
Out of hours (17:00 – 08:00)

Coe Fen

or as directed by the Fire Service

Report missing persons or those in difficulty to the Fire Safety Manager or assembly point Fire Marshal for relaying to the Fire and Rescue Service on arrival.

Fire Marshals

On hearing the alarm, the Fire Safety Manager or deputy will attend the fire system panel to identify the location of the alert.

The first Fire Marshal to arrive at Reception will act as the Co-ordinator for the incident.  They will issue radios and fluorescent vests to the next attending Fire Marshals in the following order.

  1. Fire location marshal – to be sent to identify source using information from Fire Panel, if safe to do so.
  2. Coe Fen assembly point.
  3. Main Gate – to prevent access to the site and direct any attending emergency services.
  4. Centre Roadway – to keep evacuating personnel moving towards assembly points and to direct emergency services if required.  Stay at North Roadway junction/Courtyard end until evacuation complete.
  5. Main Drive/Reception junction - to keep evacuating personnel moving towards assembly points and to direct emergency services if required.  Direct personnel to the Fen Causeway entry to the Assembly Point

Additional Fire Marshals attending can be directed to:

  1. Centre Roadway/Fen Causeway junction - to keep evacuating personnel moving towards assembly points and to direct emergency services if required.
  2. West Roadway/Fen Causeway junction - to keep evacuating personnel moving towards assembly points, to direct emergency services and assist Coe Fen Assembly Point Marshal if required.

Coe Fen Fire Marshals (two in number) will attend the assembly point directly from the Inglis Building.

Any remaining Fire Marshals to be deployed as necessary to ensure buildings and roadways are clear before the arrival of emergency services and to prevent entry or re-entry to buildings before an official ‘all clear’ by the emergency services or Fire Safety Manager.

Fire Wardens


The Department uses Fire Wardens to assist in the evacuation during an emergency.  Fire Wardens are expected to be familiar with the area they are responsible for clearing, including all escape routes.  Fire Wardens are given enhanced fire safety training, including the use of fire extinguishers.

On hearing an intermittent fire alarm signal, Fire Wardens should be prepared to leave the building, identifying the whereabouts of those at greater risk (visitors, contractors, persons with limited mobility) and ensuring they are ready to evacuate.

On hearing the continuous signal Fire Wardens should:

  • put on a Fire Team ‘high-vis’ jacket
  • take red card detailing their designated area and check all rooms are clear
  • direct occupants to the appropriate assembly point
  • close doors and windows and switch off any heat generating equipment, if safe to do so
  • proceed to the assembly point and report to the Assembly Point Marshal, reporting the location of any individual(s) requiring assistance
  • where appropriate, assist in managing the flow of evacuees to the assembly point and prevent re-entry to the building until given the all clear by the Fire Safety Manager


Lecturers are responsible for ensuring a Lecture Theatre or Meeting Room is cleared and the red card for that room shown to the Assembly Point Marshal.

Fire precautions

The Department will ensure that adequate fire precautions are in place throughout areas under its control.   This will be achieved by:

    • assessing the fire risks in the workplace           
    • ensuring that a fire can be detected in a reasonable time and that people can be warned       
    • ensuring that people who may be in the Department can get out safely          
    • providing appropriate fire-fighting equipment 
    • ensuring that those in the Department know what to do if there is a fire        
    • ensuring that fire safety equipment is checked and maintained


Risk assessment

If a fire occurs in the workplace, there is a risk that people will be trapped by the fire or injured as they attempt to escape. The purpose of the risk assessment is to identify where fires may start in the workplace and anyone who may be put at risk from that fire.

The University Fire Safety Unit will periodically tour the Department and will produce a Building specific risk assessment.  Additional risk assessments should be undertaken as follows.

Fire Wardens should use a Fire Safety Checklist for the risk assessment of areas under their control (obtainable from the Departmental Safety Officer). The DSO will assess escape routes and higher risks areas regularly.

Risk assessments for experiments or projects involving flammable, explosive or pyrophoric materials or substances, heat sources, high voltages or processes that may interfere with smoke or heat sensors should include specific reference to these together with the control measures employed to eliminate or reduce those risks to acceptable levels.


All staff, students and visiting scientists must ensure that:

  • combustible materials are used and stored safely         
  • materials are not stored in gangways, corridors or stairways or where they may obstruct exit doors. 


Smoking is not permitted on any Department site (or in close proximity to external stores, entrances and exits) except in designated smoking areas.

Maintenance and refurbishment

All building maintenance and refurbishment work and equipment maintenance requiring sources of heat or combustible materials must be cleared for use with the Facilities Manager.  Contractor access to the Department must be authorised by the Facilities Manager.

All materials brought into the Department in connection with the work being carried out must be stored away from sources of heat and must not obstruct exit routes.

Emergency plan

The Department has an emergency plan. This plan includes:

  • the action to be taken by staff in the event of fire
  • the evacuation procedure
  • the arrangements for calling the fire brigade
    • the location of assembly points

The plan is posted in prominent positions where staff can become familiar with it.  More detailed plans are available in areas identified as being at higher risk from fire.

Training and instruction

Department staff, students and visitors must be aware of the risks of fire associated with their work, particularly if they work with hot processes or use highly flammable substances.  All staff will be told during their induction process:

  • how to warn others of the fire including the operation of the fire-warning system
  • the location and use of escape routes
  • to assist or direct visitors or members of the public from the workplace
  • the location of assembly points
  • how to summon the fire service
  • the location and use of fire safety equipment (where appropriate)
  • the arrangements for calling the fire brigade

All Departmental staff will undergo periodic fire safety training, including an annual evacuation procedure.

Maintenance and testing of fire safety equipment

The Fire Safety Manager will ensure that fire safety equipment, including fire-fighting equipment, detection and warning systems, means of escape and emergency lighting, are regularly checked and maintained.  The schedule detailed in Appendix 1 will be followed.


Fire safety equipment maintenance and service schedule


Fire-detection and fire-warning systems


  • Alarm sounder check.
  • Confirm any system isolations are still required.

Every Six Months

  • A full check and test of systems will be performed by a competent service engineer.



Emergency lighting


  • Operate torches and replace batteries as required.
  • Repair or replace any defective unit.


  • A full check and test of systems and units will be carried out by a competent service engineer.
  • Replace torch batteries.

Fire-fighting equipment


  • Replace any extinguishers that have been moved from an appropriate location.
  • Replace damaged and deployed extinguishers.


  • A full check and test will be carried out by a competent service engineer.

Manufacturers may recommend alternative or additional action where appropriate and will supply more detailed information as required.

Safety Office Contact Details



Inglis Building

Trumpington Street

Cambridge CB2 1PZ


Gary Steele

Department Safety Officer (DSO)

Departmental Fire Safety Manager (DFSM)

Tel: 01223 (3)32740


Steve Wickens

Department Safety Coordinator

Tel: 01223 (7)61455