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Question Fire evacuation - labs locked or not?

1 month 4 weeks ago #41462 by Kasey
We've just been on a scheduled fire drill where all the labs were locked by the teachers and the preproom by me.

CLEAPSS handbook says:-
" When the alarm sounds, as far as possible, technicians should see that gas is turned
off at main stop cocks, that gas cylinders are returned to an agreed place and that hazardous
substances are locked up. If, for example, radioactive sources are in use, they should be placed out of
sight in an adjacent cupboard, locking it if possible. In an actual fire, the teacher should inform the fire
officer where the sources are."

We have no radio-active substances, but we did have three big practicals going on with chemicals involved in all of them. (No gas involved.)To have the teacher get all the chemicals back, to lock them away (if there was room) would take longer the the 3 -4 minutes it takes us to evacuate.
The preproom was locked because of what is stored in there, as were the two labs either side - access into the preproom.

So.....Labs and preprooms locked or not?
Presumably we'd know we had a fire....
(Not very clear, sorry, shell-shocked at all the work coming my way.)

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1 month 4 weeks ago #41463 by Doolally
Just had our termly practice too. We just turn Bunsens off and walk away. Nothing is locked or put away (but the pupils here are really good so probably not deemed necessary).
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1 month 4 weeks ago #41464 by TecHKnow
I agree with Doolally here. On hearing the alarm. Hit the emergency stop button to turn off the Gas/electric and water, then evacuate the room as quickly as possible. All other considerations are secondary. It is for your fire marshels to make sure that the school is evacuated and all students and staff are accounted for. After the fire drill or emergency, the teacher would escort the students back into the classroom where they can continue the practical where they left off and/or you had time to clear away any hazards.

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1 month 4 weeks ago #41465 by AndyG
This has been dicussed before. If you ask the fire brigade they'll always say drop everything and get out for your own safety. If you ask the police they'll suggest locking the door behind you as setting off the fire alarm is a great time to wander office-to-office stealing things ... only happened to us once ...
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1 month 4 weeks ago #41467 by Annie
I also agree with Doolally and TecHKnow, when the alarm sounds hit the gas cut off and get everybody out. My understanding was that rooms should be left open to enable rapid checking by, presumably, a member of the fire brigade should it turn out there's somebody missing from the roll call. (Obviously Chem stores would already be locked)

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1 month 4 weeks ago #41468 by Kasey

Annie wrote: I also agree with Doolally and TecHKnow, when the alarm sounds hit the gas cut off and get everybody out. My understanding was that rooms should be left open to enable rapid checking by, presumably, a member of the fire brigade should it turn out there's somebody missing from the roll call. (Obviously Chem stores would already be locked)


My chem store - acids etc is locked, but everything else is in the preproom....with access from two labs.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #41487 by woody
Advice from the Fire Service who provided some training for us was where possible ensure all windows are shut, services off, but lab doors should be closed but not locked, I live in hope that one day teaching staff will shut the windows and leave the doors unlocked as I'm supposed to check each lab, I'll leave it to your imagination what actually happens.
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