Fire Safety Policies and Procedures

Life safety in the event of Fire or other emergencies is our highest priority. Our Fire Evacuation plan is designed to ensure that building occupants can be evacuated quickly and safely. Fire Wardens have been appointed for all buildings.

DCU Fire Safety Policy 

Emergency Evacuation Procedure 

The purpose of this document is to set out the procedure and plan to be followed in the event of an emergency Dublin City University. Emergency evacuation procedures are designed to ensure the safety of people in buildings during emergencies by co‐ordinating and controlling building evacuations until the appropriate emergency services arrive. An emergency can be defined at any event, natural or man‐made which, by its occurrence, endangers the lives of DCU staff, students and visitors within the building and which requires an immediate response. Examples include fire, chemical release, gas release or bomb

This Procedure applies to all units of the university, both academic and support, including the campus companies and research centres. These are all hereinafter collectively referred to as the ‘university’’. 

The scope of the procedure includes:

  • Responsibilities
  • Fire Alarm System
  • Emergency Procedure
  • Evacuation Drill Frequency
  • Reporting
  • Duties and Procedures Manual ‐ DCU Security
  • DCU Framework Safety Statement 
  • Fire Safety Management in DCU – Policy Document

The persons responsible for the implementation and management of emergency evacuation procedures are those with appropriate management authority over the particular building and staff/students within the building. For these procedures the responsible person will be the Dean or School/Unit Head according to jurisdiction over each building

  • To promote general fire safety within their building
  • To ensure that staff attend fire safety awareness training arranged by the Health and Safety
  • To ensure, in consultation with the Health and Safety Office and other Heads with staff located in the building, that a sufficient number of trained Fire Wardens is available within the building to respond to evacuation alarms.
  • To ensure that all fire safety housekeeping inspections required under the DCU Building Fire Safety Register system are carried out (and the outcomes notified to the campus Fire Safety Officer)
  • To receive reports of fire safety issues which may arise during the housekeeping inspections and to follow up with the appropriate parties (local area staff / Estates Office Helpdesk etc) to ensure resolution.
  • To escalate issues which cannot be resolved at local level to Deans / Senior Managers.
  • To ensure that the topic of occupational health and safety/fire safety is a standing agenda item on all School/Unit/Research Centre staff meeting agendas.
  • Carrying out their duties in the event of an emergency as described in these procedures.
  • Attending a debrief following any emergency evacuation drill.
  • Reporting to the Head of School/Unit any observed fire or evacuation hazards or unsafe conditions.
  • Attending Fire Warden Training.
  • Investigating fire alarm activations received in the control room. •
  • Assisting in the evacuation of the building and in securing the building until the fire services arrive.
  • Recording details of all alarm activations (false alarms / genuine emergencies) and their probable cause.
  • Giving the all clear to re‐enter the building if it is found to be safe to do so after investigation by silencing the alarm.
  • The regular inspection and maintenance of all active and passive fire safety systems.
  • Activating the fire alarm to enable a drill to be conducted.
  • At the beginning of the Semester, informing assembled persons of the procedures to be adopted during any evacuation of the building including pointing out room exits, the location of escape stairwell and final exit points and assembly points.
  • Instructing their students to evacuate immediately in the event of an alarm activation during lectures/labs.
  • Informing Fire Wardens / Security / Fire Brigade of any known missing persons.
  • The co‐ordination, implementation and review of the University Fire Evacuation Procedure. 
  • Liaison with the emergency services to maintain emergency preparedness.
  • Co‐ordinating the training programme for Fire Wardens.
  • Organising a Fire Warden ‘Debrief’ following scheduled drills.
  • Maintaining a masterlist of Fire Wardens and scheduled evacuation drills.
  • Working with the Disability Office to develop Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEP) for campus users with mobility or other issues that could hinder their safe evacuation.
  • Notifying the H&S Office of students or staff who register with the Service who may, due to the nature of their disability, encounter difficulties in evacuating in accordance with the section below.
  • Initiating and working with the H&S Office to develop PEEPs as appropriate.
  • Registering with the Disability Service.
  • Cooperating with the Disability and H&S Services in the development of a PEEP.
  • Making their PEEP known to Fire Wardens/ Security in the Event of an Evacuation.

The Fire alarm in most DCU Buildings operates on a single or ‘double knock’ system. In a double knock system, where a single detector activates, a pre‐alert signal is received in the Control Room. Security Staff are then dispatched to investigate the cause of the pre‐alert. Where smoke / fire is discovered, the building fire alarm is activated. NOTE: The building fire alarm is automatically activated where more than one detector is activated or where a Break Glass Unit is activated. In a single knock system, activation of a single detector activates the building fire alarm.

  • Activate the nearest Fire Alarm Break Glass Unit IMMEDIATELY
  • Extinguish the fire if it is safe to do so (No more than 1 extinguisher to be operated – if fire
  • has not been extinguished evacuate immediately)
  • Call Security Emergency No. 5999 From nearest Safe Area
  • Provide Details to Security of exact location and extent of fire
  • Evacuate the building immediately via the NEAREST AVAILABLE FIRE EXIT
  • Comply with all directions given by Fire Wardens
  • Where possible assist less able bodied persons / visitors to evacuate to safety
  • Proceed to the Fire Assembly Point for the building
  • Remain outside the building until the all clear is given
  • Don high visibility ‘Fire Warden’ vests
  • Enter all accessible rooms on their floor and instruct occupants to evacuate the building, closing all doors whilst progressing through the floor
  • Direct building occupants to their nearest emergency escape routes
  • Proceed to the Fire Assembly Point when the floor has been evacuated
  • Take control at the assembly point and allow building re-entry only when the sounders have stopped ringing.
  • Attend the post evacuation debrief and report any particular difficulties encountered during the evacuation
  • Investigate the location of the Fire Alarm activation
  • Request the control room to call out the fire brigade in the event of a fire.
  • Assist the Fire Wardens in Evacuating the building
  • Liaise with the building Fire Wardens to ascertain if any persons are unaccounted for and assist in passing that information to the Fire Brigade
  • In consultation with the Fire Wardens give the all clear and stand down the emergency

Each Building shall conduct at least one evacuation drill per year. In teaching areas at least one drill should be carried out where students are present. It is recommended that such drills be carried out during the first weeks of Semester 1 each year.

All fire alarm activations (single and double knock) should be reported, in a timely manner to the DCU Health and Safety Office for further investigation via the Online Incident/Near Miss reporting function on the DCU Website.

CG 10 Health and Safety Office

Henry Grattan Building Glasnevin


Revison No.
Purpose of Revision
01 Feb 2018     New SOP
02 April 2021 Minor Amendments and Reissue
03 October 2021 Change in strategy- Fire Wardens to allow re-entry when alarm is silencing by security personnel.