Introduction

The main fire legislation in the UK is The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 - (RRFSO). The Order places duties on ‘responsible persons’, to the extent which they have control, over premises and activities to: - Ensure compliance with relevant legislation

  • Ensure suitable and sufficient fire risk assessments are carried out

  • Implement protective and preventative measures as required to ensure the safety of all ‘relevant persons’

  • Appoint competent person/s to assist him/her in implementing the measures as required

In the case of the University of Bath, the “Responsible Person” is the President & Vice-Chancellor.

Definitions

The following definitions are taken directly from the RRFSO:

Responsible Person means:

  • in relation to a workplace, the employer, if the workplace is to any extent under their control;

  • in relation to any premises not falling within the above

    • the person who has control of the premises (as occupier or otherwise) in connection with the carrying on by him of a trade, business or other undertaking (for profit or not); or
    • the owner where the person in control of the premises does not have control in connection with the carrying on by that person of a trade, business or other undertaking.

Relevant Persons means:

“any person who is or may be lawfully on the premises and any person in the immediate vicinity of the premises who is at risk from a fire on the premises”.

Principles of Control (General):

The RRFSO defines the principles of control, in order of preference, as being:

  • avoiding risks;

  • evaluating the risks which cannot be avoided;

  • combating the risks at source;

  • adapting to technical progress;

  • replacing the dangerous by the non-dangerous or less dangerous;

  • developing a coherent overall prevention policy which covers technology, organisation of work and the influence of factors relating to the working environment;

  • giving collective protective measures priority over individual protective measures;

  • giving appropriate instructions to employees.

Place of Reasonable Safety:

A place within a building or structure where, for a limited period of time, people will have some protection from the effects of fire and smoke. This place, usually a corridor or stairway, will normally have a minimum of 30 minutes fire resistance and allow people to continue their escape to a place of total safety.

Place of Total Safety:

In relation to premises, means a safe area beyond the premises.

Policy Statement

The University of Bath is committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work place and to protect its employees, students, contractors and visitors against fire and the effects of fire.

The University will deliver this policy by:

  • Clearly defining roles, responsibilities and accountabilities with regards to fire safety

  • Developing and implementing appropriate fire safety procedures and arrangements to safeguard all members of the campus community against the risks and consequences of fire and to enable them to reach, so far as is reasonably practicable, a place of reasonable or total safety in the event of an emergency

  • Appointing one or more competent persons to provide competent fire safety advice

  • Ensuring that risks associated with fire are assessed and control measures are identified and implemented, in accordance with the relevant “principles of control”, to reduce these risks to a tolerable level

  • Ensuring that all aspects of our premises or plant or equipment provided to secure fire safety are maintained by a competent person in an efficient and fit state, in efficient working order and in good repair in accordance with fire risk assessments

  • Ensuring University buildings and facilities are designed and constructed in accordance with relevant fire safety standards

  • Providing employees and anyone else affected with appropriate fire safety information, instruction and training

  • Cooperating and communicating with any other “Responsible Persons”, as necessary, to ensure compliance with the RRFSO

Responsibilities

The President & Vice Chancellor has overall responsibility for ensuring that:

  • Fire safety risks are assessed and that appropriate control measures are identified and implemented

  • Appropriate resources are made available to enable the University to fulfil its legal duties under the RRFSO

The P&VC delegates day to day responsibility for undertaking these duties through line management and identified roles. The following people are identified as having responsibility for fire safety issues in those areas, and for those relevant persons, that fall under their control:

Director of Estates is responsible for ensuring that:

  • The significant findings of fire risk assessments relating to building fabric and structure are properly addressed and control measures are implemented in accordance with the “principles of control”.

  • Any plant, equipment and features of premises provided for the purposes of fire safety remains in good working order and is subject to a suitable system of maintenance by a competent person.

  • All new and refurbished areas are so designed as to ensure compliance with this policy and any relevant fire-safety and building legislation.

  • All relevant activities and processes are assessed for fire safety and suitable control measures implemented in accordance with University Fire Safety standards.

  • Appropriate liaison and co-operation with other responsible persons is carried out, e.g. tenants / contractors, to ensure that they are aware of the University’s fire safety policy and procedures and to identify any risks arising from their activities which could impact upon the University or members of the campus community.

Deans, Heads of Department and Directors of Service are responsible for ensuring that:

  • The significant findings of fire risk assessments are addressed.

  • All relevant activities and processes are assessed for fire safety and suitable control measures implemented in accordance with University Fire Safety standards.

  • Members of staff receive fire safety training on induction or on being exposed to new or increased risk and periodically thereafter.

  • A suitable number of fire wardens are appointed, identified and trained.

  • Regular fire safety checks are carried out and that significant findings are reported to the relevant body (such as the Departmental Health & Safety Committee or Area / Departmental Safety Co-ordinator or Estates) in order for appropriate remedial works to be carried out.

  • Appropriate arrangements are put in place (for example, Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans) to secure the safety of all relevant persons.

  • All relevant persons comply with the requirements of the fire safety policy.

  • No works are carried out on building fabric or services or Estates provided/maintained plant and equipment without the prior agreement of Estates.

Supervisors/Managers (including Academic Supervisors of Research and Teaching activities) are responsible for ensuring that:

  • All activities and processes are assessed for fire safety and suitable control measures implemented in accordance with the University’s Fire Safety Standards (i.e. included in the risk assessments for research activities and any appropriate information provided in connection with practical teaching activities).

  • All relevant persons are given training and instruction in fire safety matters commensurate with their activities.

  • All “relevant persons” comply with the requirements of the fire safety policy.

Head of University Health Safety & Environment (UHSE) Service is responsible for ensuring that:

  • Fire risk assessments of building fabric and services are undertaken and that the significant findings of these assessments are reported to the relevant duty holders.

  • Competent fire safety advice is available to ensure that the University understands and can comply with their duties under this policy, the RRFSO and any applicable fire safety standards.

  • Fire safety incidents are investigated and relevant improvements identified. Where significant issues are identified these will be brought to the attention of the relevant duty holders for action.

  • The fire safety policy and statutory requirements are monitored and reviewed and that fire safety performance is reported to the University’s Health & Safety Committee and Council.

  • Appropriate guidance and standards are available to enable the University to meet its duties under the RRFSO and this policy to be properly implemented.

  • Appropriate fire safety information, instruction and training is made available to all members of the campus community as required. This will include specific fire safety training for appointed Fire Wardens.

Fire Safety Advisor is responsible for:

  • Providing support to Estates to ensure fire safety is a key factor within all building and maintenance projects.

  • Liaising with the appropriate Departments to advise on the adequate provision and maintenance of fire safety arrangements.

  • Developing and carrying out a programme of Fire Risk Assessments and reporting the significant findings and associated recommendations to relevant duty holders.

  • Promoting compliance with relevant fire legislation across the University.

  • Maintaining, developing and revising appropriate fire safety guidance, training and other resources to support the University to meet its responsibilities under the RRFSO and this policy.

  • Investigating the cause of fires and fire alarms, where relevant, and provide written advice to duty holders to support them to take appropriate action to prevent a reoccurrence and to comply with their responsibilities under this policy.

  • Liaising, where appropriate, with officers from external enforcement agencies on matters of fire safety.

  • Making available appropriate training and instruction and information for Fire Wardens.

Security is responsible for:

  • Providing a monitoring and first response service for all main campus and city campus buildings.

  • Taking reasonable steps to investigate the cause of all alarms to determine whether the incident can be adequately dealt with by the University or if it requires the attendance of the Fire & Rescue Service.

  • Providing necessary support to the Fire & Rescue Service when they attend an emergency at the main or city campus.

  • Assisting relevant persons to evacuate to a temporary or permanent place of safety.

  • Reporting relevant incidents to UHSE and, where necessary, escalating issues to Senior Management in accordance with the University’s Emergency Management Plan.

Employees and Students are required to:

  • Cooperate with the University by complying with the fire safety policy, associated standards and any relevant fire safety training and arrangements.

  • Not put themselves or others at undue risk.

Contractors are required to:

  • Assess the fire safety risks arising from their works / activities and implement control measures in accordance with the “principles of control”.

  • Co-operate with the University on all matters of fire safety and comply with all reasonable instructions relating to fire safety given by authorised members of the University.

  • Ensure that they, and all staff falling under their control, have received appropriate information, instruction and training to enable them to comply with this policy and the University’s emergency arrangements.

University Health and Safety Committee (UHSC) is responsible for:

monitoring and reviewing this policy. Reviews will be carried out every two years from date of approval.