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Fire safety


Fire is the hazard which presents the most serious danger that any person in the University may foreseeably ever have to face. It can break out anywhere and can be life threatening in a matter of minutes.

The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006  set legal requirements for fire safety within workplaces and must be complied with by the University.

University Fire Safety Guidance

The University Fire Safety Guidance document (2011) can be found at the University Fire Safety Policy and Guidance (PDF, 814 KB)

Contact details

Fire safety

Carrying out regular fire safety routines is the most effective means of reducing the risk of fire. The value of the nightly routine of switching off and unplugging electrical equipment (unless the equipment concerned is designed to run continuously), checking that gas taps are turned off, and closing the doors to all rooms and staircase enclosures, cannot be over-stressed.

Fire is more likely to occur in laboratories and workshops where flammable liquids and gases are often used. Stringent precautions are required in these areas to ensure that no sources of ignition occur. the presence of a bunsen burner or sparking thermostat may be quite sufficient to start a fire. Welding and cutting equipment should never be used near flammable liquids or combustible materials, unless adequate precautions are taken to prevent ignition occurring.

Information on particular hazardous areas within a School/Unit such as solvent, chemical and cylinder stores, should be available to the fire brigade.

Advice on all aspects of fire prevention may be obtained from the University Fire Officer.

Fire routine procedure

All groups of staff and students should be instructed in the action to be taken should a fire break out.

The University fire routine procedure is published in the form of a notice entitled "Fire Action" and is applicable to all University buildings. Copies of the Fire Action notices -should be posted in appropriate prominent positions throughout University buildings.

Fire fighting equipment

Three types of fire extinguishers are provided in University premises, water, carbon dioxide and dry powder. Each has a specific range of use. Fire blankets are also provided in many locations and should be used for smothering fires involving flammable liquids or burning clothes.

Note: Only persons who have received appropriate training should use fire fighting equipment.

All fire fighting equipment must be inspected annually. This requirement is managed centrally by Environmental, Health and Safety Services.

Fire drills

It is essential that the fire alarm system and pre-arranged plan specific for the evacuation of each building should be tested at least annually within each University building.

Fire Safety Training

It is a legal requirement that all employees should receive suitable and sufficient training in fire safety.

Fire Safety Training, covering all aspects of fire safety, is provided at regular intervals to all members of staff by the University Fire Officer

Action by Heads

The Head of School/Unit should ensure that:

  • staff, postgraduates and research assistants receive fire safety training;
  • fire action notices are posted in prominent positions;
  • fire safety measures, including arrangements for persons with a disability, are drawn up and implemented;
  • fire alarm is tested on a weekly basis and a record kept;
  • fire drills are carried out at least annually and a record kept;
  • emergency lighting is tested every six months and a record kept;
  • automatic fire detectors (AFD) are tested every 6 months (Estates and Buildings manage AFD testing for all premises).

Fire safety service

The Fire Safety Adviser undertakes a wide range of activities. This includes:

  • Fire safety training.
  • Fire safety inspections.
  • Monitoring the maintenance of fire fighting equipment.

and provides advice on:

  • General fire safety.
  • Fire evacuation procedures.
  • Fire risk assessments.
  • Fire investigations.
  • Fire related aspects of Building Control Regulations.
  • Aquisition of relevant fire licences.

Contact details

Fire Service Inspections

From time to time, Schools and Units may be notified that Fife Fire and Rescue Service wish to inspect their property and we would be grateful if any School or Unit facing this situation could notify us immediately. We will then help you prepare for the visit, in terms of making up to date documentation and progress reports available. Where possible we will accompany the inspection to assist you on the day.


Mr Mark Crush, Mr Bruce Jackson and Mr Steven McKenzie (Part Time - Only)

Environmental, Health and Safety Services
Walter Bower House
Eden Campus

St Andrews
KY16 0US
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 464039


See also