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Fire Safety

Key Functions

The Fire Safety team provides the overall fire safety management across the University.

We work in conjunction with local management, who deal with day-to-day fire safety management on behalf of their Head of School/Director. We also provide fire precaution maintenance and fire risk assessment services.

Our services include:

Fire Safety Management System   |   Fire Risk Assessments   |   Maintenance of fire safety equipment and systems

Fire Incident Investigations   |   Management of Fire Alarm Activations   |   Fire Safety Training

Fire Drills/Evacuation Training   |   Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs)   |   Emergency Response Planning

  • Responsibilities

    Within the Estates Directorate, the University Fire Officers are responsible for overall Fire Safety. However, operational responsibility is placed on members of Local Management as the ‘Appropriate Person’ to deal with Fire Safety management on a day-to-day basis. Schools and Directorates should refer to the University's Fire Safety Policy and Fire Safety Manual and Log Book for further information on the respective responsibilities and processes.

    The Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 and the Fire Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 require those responsible for fire safety to carry out fire risk assessments of premises and to reduce the risk of fire as far as is reasonably practicable.

    The University Fire Officers, as well as providing general advice on fire safety and evacuation to Schools and Directorates to enable them to carry out their duty of care, are responsible for:

    •  Fire alarm system installation maintenance and repair
    •  Management of the Fire Risk Assessment process for all University buildings to ensure compliance with current guidance
    •  Fire fighting equipment installation, maintenance and repair
    •  Smoke control equipment installation, maintenance and repair
  • Training

    We provide the following training:

    • Basic Fire Awareness Training
    • Fire Safety for Managers and Supervisors
    • Bespoke Fire Related Training (by arrangement)
    • Fire Warden Course (see also Premises Fire Safety Guide)
    • Fire Extinguisher Training (practical)
    • Queen's online Safety Learning (mandatory for all staff and undertaken annually)
  • Evacuation Procedures

    All occupied University premises are fitted with fire alarms. The sounding of the fire alarm should always be taken as a signal to evacuate the building, except in the case of pre-arranged testing. During pre-arranged testing, the sounders will operate for no more than 10 seconds.

    Fire Action notices are sited at the Fire Alarm Break-Glass Call-Points in each building. These notices issue the following instructions and guidance:

    • Actions to be taken if a fire is discovered
    • Emergency Telephone Number
    • Actions to be taken if the Fire Alarm sounds
    • Assembly area for evacuees  

    Larger University buildings have individual Fire Evacuation Plans, which include details of the “Warden Sweep” evacuation systems in use within these buildings. The buildings concerned are:

    • David Keir
    • Ashby
    • Medical Biology Hospital Complex (Clinical A and B blocks, Pathology, and Mulhouse buildings)
    • Physical Education Centre  
    • ECIT
    • Student Centre
    • McClay Library

    Guidance on the evacuation of other buildings is provided in the Health & Safety leaflets produced by individual Schools and Departments.

    General Advice in the Event of Evacuation

    • If the Fire Alarm sounds for longer than ten seconds, treat it as genuine and evacuate promptly
    • Do not assume that the alarm sounding is a “False Alarm”, even if there has been a recent history of unwarranted alarms
    • If you are evacuated from a building, go directly to the Assembly Area and remain there until instructed otherwise. Do not leave unless you have received permission to do so from the building’s Evacuation Controller.
    • Do not re-enter an evacuated building until clear instruction has been given that it is safe to do so. Silencing of the fire alarm does not mean it is safe to re-enter the building.
  • Fire Prevention


    Watch out for:

    Malicious Ignition
    Over 50% of large fires in the UK are attributable to malicious ignition. Be wary of strangers in your area and keep your area free from combustible material.

    Unauthorised Smoking
    Unauthorised smoking, particularly in secluded areas, carries the risk of fire resulting from discarded, but still-lit, cigarette butts. 

    Obstructed Escape Routes, Stairways and Emergency Exits
    It is illegal to obstruct any emergency route, especially stairways, corridors and final exits. Checks of routes and exits should be undertaken regularly.  

    Faulty Electrics
    Estates maintains and tests the fixed wiring circuits within the University’s premises. However, if you become aware of a fault with the fixed electrics you should cease use of the equipment and report it immediately to the Estates Helpdesk (ext. 5152,

    It is the responsibility of local management to ensure that portable appliances are subject to a systematic and regular programme of maintenance, inspection and testing, so that they are “safe to use” in compliance with statutory requirements and in accordance with University procedures. If a School/Department does not have the technical expertise to do so, Estates will arrange for the testing to be carried out at an appropriate charge.

    Fire Doors Propped Open
    The propping or wedging open of fire doors is a criminal act, which places lives in danger as this allows smoke to fill escape routes. It becomes a double criminal act to use fire extinguishers to prop open fire doors.

    Incorrect Storage of Combustible Material
    Cardboard boxes, waste materials, and other combustibles must not be stored or stacked in escape routes and stairwells at any time. Where combustibles have to be stored, they should be neatly stacked in a suitable storeroom away from escape routes.

Key Contacts

Ciaran Connolly
Ext: 1112  Email:

Edward Leahy
1092  Email: