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Health and Safety Services

Fire marshalling arrangements

All staff are required to attend a fire safety session delivered by the Health and Safety Officer or to have read and acknowledged the safety induction pack sent to all new staff.  All Birkbeck buildings have Zone Fire Marshals with particular evacuation duties for the area where they are based.  In USS, because of the nature of our staffing pattern, all staff working there are needed to act as Zone fire Marshals. Since it cannot be guaranteed that the zone marshals will always be in situ or even in a building, all other Birkbeck staff are still expected to assist with general fire marshalling in the event of an emergency evacuation. The duties of general fire marshals are simply:

  1. to leave their area promptly and move towards a fire exit encouraging other occupants they meet on their way to leave promptly by the nearest exit.

  2. to inform a senior fire marshal or the fire brigade of the location of any disabled persons requiring assistance to exit the building.

  3. to instruct persons leaving the building to move well clear of exits and not to stand in the road.
    This will allow space for others to exit safely, provide unrestricted access for the emergency services and put a safe distance between evacuees and any debris from possible explosions. A distance of at least 100 metres should be "well clear". At some exits several fire marshals are needed for this task as evacuees tend to move only a few yards before congregating on pavements thus obstructing them and forcing others to move onto the road.

  4. to instruct persons not to re-enter the building until the all-clear has been given by a senior fire marshal or a senior fire brigade officer.

All lecturers in charge of students should direct them to the nearest exit, accompany them to the outside of the building and take them well clear of the fire exits.

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Health & Safety Services, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX. Tel: 020 7631 6218, email: