Be Fire Aware

Be Fire Aware banner with the text reading: 'Prevent fires... Don't overload cables. Keep spaces clutter free. Keep fire doors closed.'

The University has a number of people with a legal responsibility for fire. However, the responsibility doesn't stop with them, it's extended to every member of staff.

The best way to fight fires is to prevent them. You play a vital role in taking fire precautions in your everyday working life.

Below, Caroline Taylor, University Fire Officer, and Betty Maciorowska, Assistant University Fire Officer, provide simple fire safety dos and don'ts that all University members should follow.

Be Fire Aware: fire safety dos and don'ts


Have a go at our latest EveryDaySafe quiz, which will test your knowledge on fire prevention, actions to take during a fire, and general fire safety trivia.

A communications pack and materials, including a series of posters, a suitably-sized banner for use in email signatures, and an animation, are available for departments’ use to promote the campaign. You can access this via the UAS Comms SharePoint folder.

Be Fire Aware poster with man causing a fire by overloading plug sockets. Text reads: 'He's a real live wire. Avoid bad cable management and overloading... it can cause fires'

Electrical faults are one of the biggest causes of fire in the UK. Using electrical appliances is unavoidable, but there are precautions you should take to ensure you can do so safely.

Don’t overload your sockets. Excessive current flowing through cables generates heat. If the heat generated exceeds the designed capacity of the cables and components, it could result in a fire.

Use extension leads sparingly. Daisy-chaining, or connecting a series of extension leads together, increases the risk of overheating, and should be avoided wherever possible. Report any instances of daisy-chaining that you come across.

When using extension leads, choose an appropriate length, and unwind extension reels completely. Use only certified adaptors or plugs, identified by marks indicating conformity to the British Standard. For further details, watch the video above.

Be Fire Aware poster with a fire starting at a messy desk. Text reads: 'She has a burning ambition. Keep material that provides fuel for fire under control where you work'

In the workplace, combustible materials like paper, wood and plastic tend to accumulate, increasing the risk of fire. These materials can quickly ignite and intensify the flames.

While it’s impossible to eliminate all potential sources of fuel for fire, you do need to keep it under control.

Don’t allow clutter to build-up. The close proximity of combustible materials in a messy workplace can contribute to the rapid spread of fire.

Additionally, minimise potential ignition sources, such as lamps and electric heaters, as their presence near flammable materials could initiate a fire.

Be Fire Aware poster with an internal fire door being propped open and smoke wafting through it. Text reads: 'He's too open-minded. Keep fire doors closed to prevent the spread of fire'

Internal fire doors play a key role in protecting the safety of everyone inside a building. Their main purpose is to prevent the spread of fire and smoke from one area to another. This helps contain the fire and provide occupants with a safe means of escape.

It's therefore essential to keep internal fire doors closed, as they establish a barrier that limits the movement of heat, smoke and flames.

Don’t wedge or prop fire doors open, as doing so compromises their ability to effectively prevent the spread of a fire.

Be Fire Aware poster with fire warden pointing people to the emergency exit. Text reads: 'Make us feel safe. Become a fire warden and help put people first in an emergency'

Fire wardens are instrumental in ensuring the safety of everyone in the workplace during a fire. In the event of a fire, trained fire wardens conduct a sweep of the building to confirm which areas are clear.

Have you thought about becoming a fire warden and protecting your colleagues in the event of a fire? You could showcase your leadership skills during both emergency drills and actual incidents.

Find out more and book onto a fire warden training course