Building Emergency Fittings - Visual Guide

Building Emergency Fittings

Visual Guide

Image Item name and description
AED installed

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

Equipment to provide first aid to a person experiencing suspected sudden cardiac arrest (heart attack). Training is recommended before using them, but not required. Please follow the instructions packaged with the machine, as well as the standard operating procedure.

Locations of Automated External Defibrillators at Parkville and Southbank

Chief Warden Equipment Box

Some buildings have made their own equipment box to house the response equipment for the Chief Warden such as a first aid kit, megaphone, clipboard and checklists, spare helmets etc. This is an excellent idea and will ensure all the required equipment is at the Warden meeting point for use. If your building has a box like this, please contact your Chief Warden for queries about it.

Emergency Break Glass Alarm (Emergency BGA)

If an EWIS is fitted in your building, you may find "Emergency" break glass alarm buttons. These alarm buttons are different to the Fire BGAs because they do not contact the Fire Brigade. The Emergency BGA activates the EWIS to initiate an evacuation of the building.

In some situations you may not need to contact the Fire Brigade but do need to evacuate the building. This is where the Emergency BGA can help. If you cannot find one anywhere in your building on the floors, there will be one on the EWIS itself.

Exit Break Glass Door Release

Exit Break Glass Door Releases are usually fitted to emergency exit doorways in higher security areas.

Exit Break Glass Door Releases allow the access control on an otherwise secure door to be overridden for emergency egress.

Simply break the break and the door will unlock.

Emergency Exit Signs

Emergency exits are identified by a green illuminated sign bearing the international symbol for exit. These exit signs point to a path out of the building.

In halls and corridors, an exit sign will have an arrow indicating which way people should head to find the emergency exit door or emergency stairs.

Most emergency exit signs have a battery backup system to keep them illuminated after the power has failed. The battery lasts long enough for all building occupants to evacuate safely.

Emergency Stairs

During an evacuation building occupants need an escape route that is protected from fire and smoke. In multi-story buildings fire escapes are installed. These escape stairs are more fire and smoke free because of their solid construction and fire rated doors.

The fire escape stairs typically lead to a ground floor exit door. The stairs should be wide with enough room for all building occupants to walk down safely. In some older buildings the fire escape stairs have been added to the building externally. They are usually made from metal. Older wooden ones will be replaced over time.

Emergency Warning Intercommunications System (EWIS)

Most multi-storey buildings at the University have an Emergency Warning Intercommunications System (EWIS). It warns occupants of an emergency and advises them to evacuate. It is usually on the ground floor near the Fire Information Panel.

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Fire Break Glass Alarm (Fire BGA)

Buildings fitted with a "Fire - Break Glass Alarm" allow occupants to activate the fire alarm and alert the fire brigade easily. The red panel on the wall houses a small button that when depressed will contact the Fire Brigade. The Fire Brigade will respond instantly to the building. You should always try to ring University Security to confirm the fire.

The glass, or perspex material is easy to break with your fist, elbow or a pen. Smashing the glass will sometimes activate the button automatically.

Fire Door Release

During an evacuation, fire doors should be closed to prevent fire and smoke movement through the building.

Fire door releases hold doors open during the day for normal use, then release them when the fire alarm system activates.

Press the red button under the release mechanism to release the doors manually.

"Fire safety door: Do not obstruct" Sign

These doorways are designed to protect building occupants in the case of a fire. They must never be blocked in any circumstances.

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Fire Hose Reels & Fire Hydrants

Canvas fire hoses attached to or adjacent to fire hydrant points are installed only for use by the Fire Brigade. They must not be used by untrained personnel as injury or excess property damage may result.

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Fire Indicator Panel (FIP)

The FIP is the hub of the fire alarm system in a building. It is usually located on the ground floor near an entrance close to the nearest road. The panel may be located in a cabinet or on a wall. On the panel is a number of lights and buttons. These lights indicate which fire sensor has activated in the building.

The FIP will automatically notify the fire brigade of an alarm when one of its sensors locates a fire. The FIP will usually talk to the EWIS (where installed) and notify the building occupants that they need to evacuate.

First aid kit

First Aid Kits

A kit of equipment for the provision of emergency treatment and life support for people suffering injury or illness in the workplace.

General guidance about first aid and first aid kits is available from First aid.

These kits are purchased and managed individually by local areas. Please contact your local supervisor/manager or your Local Health & Safety contact for queries.

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Hydrocarbon Monitors and Alarms

Hydrocarbon monitors are usually hand-held units that can detect the level of hydrocarbons (which can be dangerous) in the atmosphere. Monitors can be used where there has been a leak or spill of dangerous goods or hazardous substances.

Please contact your laboratory manager for queries about this equipment.

Oxygen monitor

Oxygen Monitors and Alarms

Oxygen monitors are used in areas where an oxygen-deficient atmosphere could occur. Oxygen-deficient atmospheres can occur if hazardous substances or dangerous goods leak in a confined area and deplete the oxygen levels.

An oxygen alarm or monitor will activate when oxygen levels are dangerously low.

Please contact your laboratory manager for queries about this equipment.

Fire Extinguishers

Portable Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are portable appliances used to attend a small fire during its initial stage. More information about types of fire extinguishers.

Thermal Detector

Smoke and Thermal Fire Detectors

The detection system in buildings may sense either heat or smoke or a combination of these. Smoke detectors are increasingly being used because of their earlier warning of an emergency situation. Smoke detectors may also be used to activate fire doors to isolate zones in the building.


Sprinkler and Suppression Systems

Some areas are fitted with automatically activated sprinkler heads. On activation, the sprinklers discharge a fine deluge of water to extinguish/contain a fire.

In some special-risk locations (such as flammable liquids storerooms or computer server rooms), gaseous or foam suppression systems are used to extinguish fire.

Where a suppression system is installed in an area that is normally occupied, you will hear a warning alarm before the discharge of gas or foam into the room. A warning notice telling personnel what to do should be displayed.

Warden Intercom Phone

Warden Intercom Phones (WIP)

The WIP phones are red intercom phones. They are located throughout a building and designed to be used by Wardens or trapped building occupants. The WIP phones are connected to the EWIS and can be used to communicate between floors or zones. You cannot make an outgoing PABX or exchange call using these phones!