Imperial College London is subject to the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This is a self regulating article of legislation and in order for the College to fulfil its obligations, a number of Codes of Practice are in place.

Good management of fire safety is essential to ensure that fires are unlikely to occur; that if they do occur they are likely to be controlled or contained quickly, effectively and safely; or that, if a fire does occur and grow, everyone at the College is able to escape to a place of total safety easily and quickly.

In recognition of the risks and the serious consequences of a fire at the College, the College has agreed this Fire Safety Policy and associated Code of Practice.

Fire safety

Legislation

The primary legislation for fire safety is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.  This has replaced two earlier pieces of major legislation: the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precaution (Workplace) Regulations 1997.  The Order covers general fire precautions and other fire safety duties which are needed to protect persons in cases of fire in and around premises. The Order requires fire precautions to be put into place where necessary and to the extent that is reasonable and practicable.  Responsibility for complying with the Order rests with the 'Responsible Person'.  There is other legislation relating to fire safety including the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations.  The requirements of these regulations are subject to further College policies.

Responsible person

The President is the person designated as the 'Responsible Person' on behalf of the College. The President delegates duties to the Faculty Principals, the Chief Operating Officer and the College Chief Fire Officer but remains responsible for ensuring that:

  • General fire precautions are taken to ensure the safety of staff, students, contractors, visitors and members of the public.
  • Suitable and sufficient risk assessments are carried out and regularly reviewed.
  • Arrangements are put into place for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventative and protective measures.

General responsibilities

Fire safety is everyone's responsibility.  All staff, students, contractors and visitors are required to follow established procedures and cooperate with appointed College staff in order to achieve the highest standards of fire safety.  This includes minimising the amounts of combustible materials present in buildings, ensuring the safe use, storage and disposal of flammable substances, and avoiding misuse of fire safety equipment as well as complying with the College Smoking Policy.

Specific responsibilities

The President

The President is the person designated as the "Responsible Person" for the College. He or she delegates duties to the Faculty Principals, the Chief Operating Officer and the College Chief Fire Officer but remains responsible for ensuring that:

  • General fire precautions are taken to ensure the safety of staff, students, contractors, visitors and members of the public.
  • Suitable and sufficient risk assessments are carried out and regularly reviewed.
  • A positive fire safety culture is promoted across the College and that arrangements are in place for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures.
  • Adequate resources are allocated to the management of fire safety.

Faculty Principals

The Faculty Principals and the Principal of the Business School have delegated duties from the President and are responsible for ensuring that a positive fire safety culture is promoted in their area of responsibility and that fire safety is managed appropriately within their Faculty.

Chief Operating Officer

The Chief Operating Officer has delegated duties from the President and is responsible for ensuring that:

  • All College premises comply with statutory requirements.
  • All new projects incorporate appropriate fire precautions.
  • A positive fire safety culture is promoted in his or her area of responsibility.
  • Fire safety is managed appropriately within the Support Services.

Heads of Department and Division

Heads of Department and Division have delegated duties from their Faculty Principals and are responsible for:

  • Promoting a positive fire safety culture in their area of responsibility.
  • In consultation with the College Chief Fire Officer, appointing a competent person as a Fire Safety Coordinator to advise them on fire safety matters arising within their Department/ Division.
  • Appointing sufficient Fire Wardens to monitor fire safety within their Department/ Division and implement the relevant emergency plans.
  • Acting on the recommendations of the College Chief Fire Officer set out in the Fire Risk Assessments for the buildings in which their Department/ Division is located.
  • Ensuring that all flammable materials are correctly stored, used and disposed of, and that in all cases the quantities involved are the minimum reasonably practicable. All potential fire hazards within their Department/ Division must be clearly identified and notified to the College Chief Fire Officer.
  • Liaising with the College Chief Fire Officer before introducing new activities and/ or processes which may increase the fire risk.
  • Ensuring that staff and students within their Department/ Division receive sufficient and appropriate fire awareness instruction and training.

President of the Imperial College Union (ICU)

The President of the ICU has the same responsibilities for fire safety as a Head of Department/ Division. In addition, the President is responsible for ensuring that the Union meets its legal obligations for fire safety in respect of its catering and bar outlets, its clubs and societies and other entertainment and sporting activities.

Staff, Students and Visitors

All staff, students, and visitors are required to follow established procedures and cooperate with appointed College staff in order to achieve the highest standards of fire safety. This includes minimising the amounts of combustible materials present in buildings, ensuring the safe use, storage and disposal of flammable substances, and avoiding misuse of fire safety equipment as well as complying with the College Smoking Policy.

Contractors

Contractors must comply with the College Fire Safety Polic y and obey all fire safety instructions given to them by the College Chief Fire Officer and/ or the Construction Safety Manager. Contractors must also ensure that all personnel for whom they are responsible are adequately trained and instructed in fire safety procedures and know the local arrangements for the areas where they are working. Contractors are required to cooperate fully with College procedures including the need to apply for Hot Work Permits when carrying out work that could present a fire risk or potentially result in activation of the fire alarm system. All work on Fire Alarm Systems is also subject to Permit-to-Work procedures and must be agreed, in advance, with the College Chief Fire Officer and the Building/ Campus Manager responsible for the area covered by the alarm system.

Specialist Fire Safety responsibilities

Director of Estates Facilities

The Director of Estates Facilities has delegated duties from the Chief Operating Officer and, in addition to his or her duties as a Head of Division, he or she is responsible for:

  • Developing and implementing the College Fire Strategy.
  • Ensuring that College premises comply with statutory requirements.
  • Acting on the recommendations of the College Chief Fire Officer so far as they relate to the fire alarm systems, fire precautions (means of escape, etc) and fire signage.
  • Appointing Fire Safety Coordinators (in eff ect assign ing d uties to Building Managers) to provide support in the implementation of the College Fire Safety Policy.

And for ensuring that:

  • The College meets its legal obligations for fire safety in respect of all premises it leases to third parties.
  • Tenancy agreements place the College's tenants under a legally enforceable obligation to comply with the College's fire safety policy and procedures.

College Chief Fire Officer

The Chief Fire Officer reports to the Director of Estates Facilities and is responsible for:

  • Promoting a positive fire safety culture across the College.
  • Advising the College on its statutory obligations regarding fire safety and of the effect of new or amended legislation.
  • Developing the College Fire Safety Strategy and the policies and procedures necessary to ensure the College's compliance with legislation and the effective control of its fire hazards, including conducting building fire risk assessments and issuing hot work permits.
  • Developing appropriate guidance and codes of practice to support these policies and procedures.
  • Advising College senior managers of their responsibilities for fire safety.
  • Providing specialist advice, information and support to all parts of the College including the dissemination of good practice, on the management of fire safety.
  • Inspecting, monitoring and auditing the implementation of fire safety policies, procedures and codes of practice across the College, including the testing and maintenance of fire fighting equipment and fire alarm systems and the issuing of Hot Work permits.
  • Developing, setting and reviewing performance standards and targets as necessary.
  • Advising on training needs and providing in-house training and instruction, including arranging regular fire drills.
  • Managing the interface between the College and the local fire authorities.
  • Managing the Fire Department.
  • Liaising with the Safety Champion and with the College's specialist advisory services, including the Safety Department, the Facilities Management Division and the Security Department.
  • Liaising on fire safety matters with associated NHS Trusts, contractors working on College premises and external organisations with a presence on College campuses.
  • Providing reports on fire safety matters to the Health and Safety Management and Consultative Committees.
  • The College Chief Fire Officer has the authority, delegated from the President, to close down College Buildings, or parts of the building, and to call a halt to processes or activities if he believes there is a serious risk of injury from fire to the occupants of the building or people undertaking the activity or process.

Director of Estates Projects

The Director of Estates Projects has delegated duties from the Chief Operating Officer. In addition to his or her duties as a Head of Division, he or she is responsible for ensuring that all building projects comply with statutory requirements and in particular that new, or upgraded, fire alarm systems, fire precautions and fire signage comply with the College Fire Strategy.

Head of Campus Services

The Head of Campus Services has duties delegated from the Chief Operating Officer. In addition to his or her duties as a Head of Division, he or she is responsible for ensuring that:

  • The College meets its legal obligations for fire safety in respect of Halls of Residence, College catering outlets, sports facilities and Conference Office lettings.
  • Licences for students in halls of residences place them under a legally enforceable obligation to comply with the College's fire safety policy and procedures.

Fire Safety Coordinators

Fire Safety Coordinators are appointed by Heads of Department and Division to support them in the implementation of the College Fire Safety Policy. In many cases the role of Fire Safety Coordinator will be subsumed with other roles (e.g. Departmental/ Divisional Safety Officer, Building Manager or Hall Manager). Working closely with the College Chief Fire Officer their main duties are to:

  • Promote a positive fire safety culture in their area.
  • Ensure sufficient provision of Fire Wardens.
  • Develop a Departmental Emergency Evacuation Plan.
  • Prepare Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) when required.
  • Arrange fire drills.
  • Ensure that staff within the Department/ Division receive Fire Safety training.

Fire Wardens

Fire Wardens are appointed by the Head of Department/ Division to assist with the implementation of the College Fire Safety Policy. Fire Wardens need to have local knowledge of the fire risks in their work area. Their main duties are to:

  • Alert their Fire Safety Coordinator to any defects in fire precautions in their area.
  • Participate in fire drills and report any problems to their Fire Safety Coordinator.
  • Assist the Emergency Response Team during the evacuation of their building by:

(a) Guiding people to the Assembly Points.

(b) Helping to prevent re-entry until the building is deemed safe for re-occupation.

During an evacuation Fire Wardens are not to put themselves at any risk. They should evacuate the building along with the other occupants and then report to the Emergency Control Point to pass on any information they may have about the incident or factors that could affect the incident and to provide any other assistance as required.

These Codes of Practice should be adhered to unless there are exceptional circumstances in which case approval must be sought from the Fire Office.

Further Codes of Practice may be introduced at any time if the Chief Fire Officer deems it necessary.

Please find below a list of all current Codes of Practice as Pdf documents, and a Hot Works notification in Word format: