Fire EngineOn Friday 1 November (between the hours of 18:30-23:00) and Monday 4 November (06:00 – 08:00) there will be national fire service periods of industrial action.  During this period Royal Berkshire Fire Service (and Buckinghamshire Fire Service for Greenlands) have in place contingency arrangements and they will be providing emergency cover during the industrial action.  However, as their resources will be significantly reduced during this period, the fire services will respond to ‘life or limb’ incidents only.  This means life critical incidents, such as house fires or road traffic collisions where people are trapped.  The fire services will not respond to Automatic Fire Alarm Actuations unless a real fire is confirmed and they will not attend when persons are shut in lifts unless the incident is ‘life threatening’.

In the event of a fire emergency at the University the normal procedures for reporting a fire and evacuating the building should be followed. These are detailed on local fire action posters displayed throughout our buildings:

  • On discovering a fire
  • Operate the nearest fire alarm call point
  • On hearing the alarm, evacuate the building
  • Call the Fire Service by dialling (0)999
  • Call Security on x6300 or 0118 378 6300 from a mobile

Remember, if you know there is a real fire, you must phone 999 to inform the Fire Service

During periods of industrial action, calls will be dealt with on a priority basis so when you speak to the emergency services .operator please provide as much information as possible about the incident. This will ensure that the Fire Service can make an informed decision about their level of response. ‘Life and Limb’ incidents will take precedence but even for this type of incident the Fire Service response will be reduced.

Automatic Fire Alarms

If the fire alarm sounds in your building, but you do not know if it is a real fire, you must evacuate, and the Evacuation Officer must phone University Security as soon as possible to alert them.

Security Services will also be alerted automatically by the fire alarm system. They have been trained to safely investigate the cause of any fire alarm, and will inform the Fire Service if there is a fire. Please note, only Security staff are trained to investigate fire alarms, all other staff must evacuate immediately by the nearest escape route.

The Fire Service are very unlikely to send a fire engine unless an actual fire is confirmed, so it is essential that Security Services are called on Ext 6300 or 0118 378 6300 as soon as possible if the fire alarm sounds in your building and it is not obvious that it is a real fire.

Precautionary Measures

Because of the day and timing of this particular strike the majority of our staff and students will not be at work.  However staff and students who are at work during the time of the strike must be warned to take care and to prevent fires and false fire alarm signals.  So please:

  • Don’t use toasters
  • Don’t use portable heaters unless absolutely essential
  • Turn off electrical appliances and close all doors and windows when a room is unoccupied
  • Ensure that all doors and particularly those marked as ‘FIRE DOORS’ are kept closed at all times as this will restrict the spread of fire should one occur. However automatic fire doors that are on magnetic hold-open devices linked to the fire detection system can be left open on their magnetic catches
  • Only use passenger lifts when absolutely necessary -You must never attempt to exit a lift in the event of a breakdown except when assisted by a trained person, even if you are close to a floor.

Remind your family of the need to take care at home.  Excellent and comprehensive information on home fire safety can be sourced by following the link to the Royal Berkshire Fire Service

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