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Guest anonymous

Fire alarm system not working

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Guest anonymous

Hello, Please could you give me advice on the following.
I work for a college that is based in a prison.
The building is used to teach offenders in classes and a place of work for teaching staff.There are over 10 members of staff up to 90 offenders the building is 2 storeys with approx 20 rooms plus store cupboards. Rooms are used as staff room, cookery room with kitchen, computer rooms and offices.
The fire alarm for the hole building is down and not working, but managers are still insisting staff carry on using the building as normal, With a fire Marshall patrolling the building, while learners are present. Teaching staff are in the building all day.
Is this legal or a serious breach of fire safety.
And can I refuse to work in the building.
Kind regards

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The fire alarm is to warn persons in the building that there is a fire in the building and can be initiated by somebody operating a manual call point or a fire detector, detecting a fire and operating a sounder.

So if you can devise a procedure that will achieve the same objects then it could be acceptable for a short period of time while fire alarm system is repaired. People can be the best fire detectors; they usually smell the smoke long before seeing the fire. As soon as they are aware of a fire they need to be able to warn the rest of the building and this is where a procedure has to be formulated to ensure all relevant persons are made aware and can evacuate the building safely.

For instance you could provide a contact point using the internal telephone system who in turn could contact the fire marshals to evacuate the floors ensuring all people evacuate safely, when only staff is present then the procedure would have to be modified. Without knowing a lot more about the building I could not formulate a procedure but I am sure there is staff that could.

There is no legal or a serious breach of fire safety it is all about risk assessment and formulating a satisfactory procedure.

If you are very concerned you should contact the enforcing authority, who are the local Fire and Rescue Service.

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I stand corrected the fire and rescue service is not the enforcing authority, as it is crown property and Office of the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, Crown Premises Fire Safety Group are the enforcing authority.

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100413151441/http://communities.gov.uk/documents/fire/pdf/1496020.pdf

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Guest AndrewLlew

There are rumours at my workplace that the fire alarm system is off for some reason and has been for days, reason unknown. Is this legal and who would I have to contact with my concerns ie. Fire warden for purposes of an inspection

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Guest Ray

Hi, Looking for some advice here. Can my employer turn off their firm alarm system because work is going on on their premises. It is a large Warehouse & it is noisy. Is this against the law?

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Your employer is not necessarily committing an offence under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 if he/she has alternative arrangements in place, if evacuation in case of fire is necessary, which all staff should be instructed on. It all depends on the premises involved and the fire procedure adopted. 

If you are still concerned contact the local fire and rescue service as they are the enforcement authority.  

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Guest Guest Phil

Can a building be slept in without a functioning alarm system? we have an old staff sleeping accommodation building on site and the alarm system has failed due to age. My thoughts are that the building should be evacuated until serviceable would you agree? 

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No it can't, you are putting relevant persons at severe risk and it's one of the few cases where a Fire Service inspector would likely jump straight to a Prohibition Notice and if not complied with prosecution.

Sleeping risk cases that get to court often have custodial sentences, both suspended and actual imprisonment.

Depending on the size, nature and layout of the premises a temporary solution might be possible.

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Guest Chris

hi

i have just noticed that my fire alarm sounders do not sound on a fire alarm test. There is no sounder fault showing on the panel. Does anyone know the reason why they have stopped working?

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