Fire Safety Management - Policy

Printer-friendly version

1. Purpose and Objectives

This document outlines The University of Queensland’s strategies to manage fire risk, comply with legal obligations in relation to fire safety and to provide to the University community appropriate training and information on fire safety.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

FSMP - Fire Safety Management Plan

Emergency - An event, actual or imminent, which endangers or threatens to endanger life, property or the environment, and which requires a significant and coordinated response.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all persons in the University community.  All staff must be aware of their obligations under fire safety regulations.

4. Policy Statement

The University of Queensland aims to ensure that all staff, students, contractors and visitors are protected from the risks of fire. The University has systems and procedures in place to safeguard the working environment and to ensure that fire systems and associated requirements are properly maintained in accordance with relevant legislation.  These systems and procedures are codified in the Fire Safety Management Plan and Fire and Emergency Evacuation Procedures.

The following fire safety legislation is applicable in Queensland and to the University:

Fire and Rescue Services Act Queensland 1990;

Building Fire Safety Regulations Queensland 2008;

Work Health and Safety Act Queensland 2011 ;

National Construction Code (Building Code of Australia 2011)

5. Fire Safety Management Plan

The University has a FSMP which provides information on how the University manages fire risks and how the University will respond in cases of fire emergency.

6. Fire and Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Fire and emergency evacuation procedures apply in the event of any emergency which may require partial or total evacuation of buildings within the University. Evacuation from buildings may be necessary as the result of fire, explosion, chemical leak, structural fault, equipment failure, or bomb threat.

Chief Property Officer Mr Fabby Ernesta


Fire Safety Management Plan - Procedures

Printer-friendly version

1.  Purpose and Objectives

This document provide information on how the University manages fire risks and how the University community is informed about fire safety measures.

2.  Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

FSMP - Fire Safety Management Plan

FSO - Fire Safety Officer

P&F - Property and Facilities Division

Emergency - An event, actual or imminent, which endangers or threatens to endanger life, property or the environment, and which requires a significant and coordinated response.

3.  Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all persons within the University community.

4.  Procedures Statement

The FSMP provides the University with information and understanding of fire policies and procedures. 

There are four main objectives of the FSMP:

  • To ensure a comprehensive fire risk management process is applied across the University to ensure a high level of safety for persons and property.
  • To ensure that fire safety problems that arise are quickly and effectively contained and resolved.
  • To ensure that the University complies fully with its legal obligations in relation to fire safety.
  • To ensure that appropriate training and information is provided on fire safety to the University community.

5.  Organisational Responsibilities

The following are responsible for the implementation and management of the control measures discussed in this document:



Occupational Health & Safety Council

Endorse FSMP.

Executive Manager OH&S Unit

Ensure University-wide compliance with FSMP.

Director, P&F

Asset Services Manager

Ensure policy application throughout P&F and suppliers.  Allocate funding for Fire Safety.

Construction Manager

Asset Services Manager

Manager Security

Engineering Services Manager

Senior Engineer Electrical

Site Planner


Ensure the infrastructure design, installation and maintenance of Fire Systems are consistent with the requirements of the FSMP.

Manager Security is responsible for ensuring the intent of the FSMP is achieved.  Fire Safety Officers are responsible for carrying out a range of activities to minimise fire safety risk across the University in accordance with the terms of the FSMP.

Asset Services Contracts Manager (P&F)

Maintenance Officers

Fire Safety Officers

Ensure effective maintenance practices are established in compliance with the FSMP and legislation.  Ensure the University Design Guidelines are complied with and maintained.

Project Managers / Officers

Engineering Services Manager

Fire Safety Officers

Ensure that design and installation of fire systems complies with legislative requirements and the FSMP.

University Building Occupants

Ensure that individual activities do not contribute to fire risk and are in accordance with the requirements of this FSMP. 

Participate in fire drills.

Provide fire wardens and ensure that they are adequately trained.

Ensure that all internal processes do not create or increase fire hazards.


6.  Factors Affecting Fire Safety



Control Options

Fire hazards and faults.

Heightens the risk of fire and loss of property and life.

A program of Risk Auditing that identifies problems and generates remedial action.

Inappropriate storage of material.

Heightens the risk of fire and loss of property and life.

Effective housekeeping practices ensuring rubbish/material is removed and safety mechanisms are put into place.

Staff not fully aware of fire issues.

Incorrect action in the event of an emergency and unidentified fire hazards become a practical threat.

Training for all staff in fire safety awareness and practices.

New staff induction training.

Using OH&S website for fire safety information and guidelines.

Lack of Fire Wardens.

Lack of fire supervision in designated areas particularly in emergency situations.

Identification and training of appropriate Fire Wardens for every area of the University.

Inappropriate storage of chemicals and flammable materials.

Exposure to a high risk of fire.

Implement a program of proper storage facilities and handling procedures.

Lack of safety procedures in high risk areas such as laboratories and chemical stores.

Inability to reduce the risk of fire hazards and response to emergency situations.

Develop policies and procedures for the work area under the guidance of OH&S Unit & P&F.

Buildings in poor condition and non-compliant with statutory requirements.

Increase risk of loss of life and property in the event of fire.

Increased exposure of prosecution and litigation.

  • Building design
  • Maintenance planning
  • Inspections
  • Work program

Contractors inadequately inducted and supervised.

Increase risk of fire hazards and false alarms

Contractor and inducted and supervised by relevant project officer.


7.  Managing Fire Safety

7.1 Strategy

A diagram of the strategy for fire safety is shown below


7.2 Fire safety inspections and risk assessment

Fire risk assessments and inspections of buildings and grounds belonging to the University are essential in identifying real and potential fire risks and hazards. University buildings must be inspected every year using the Fire Safety Building Report. Wherever possible, Chief Fire Wardens are to be involved in these audits.

Fire Risk assessments will be in accordance with AS/NZS ISO31000:2009 – Risk Management – Standards Australia.   Fire risk will be rated by using the Risk Score Calculator as contained on the Management Plans/Guidelines, Risk Assessment and Management Policy.  This calculator is a recognised risk assessment tool and recommended by the Occupational Health & Safety Unit.

Additionally, Insurance Loss Adjustors will carry out random risk assessment audits of University buildings. Audit reports must be reviewed jointly by Finance and Business Services (Insurance Office) and Property and Facilities to determine required actions and funding allocations.

7.3 Maintenance of fire systems and associated equipment

Maintenance of fire safety systems forms part of the Fire Maintenance Contract managed by P&F.  The provisions of the contract ensures maintenance on fire systems and equipment is carried out in compliance with the Fire & Rescue Services Act 1990 and Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008, the National Construction Code 2011, the appropriate Standards Australia Codes of Practice and other associated legislation.  The contract will ensure that Fire Maintenance Contractors are fully inducted for safe work practices at UQ and are fully qualified to carry out maintenance on fire safety systems.

7.4 Building design and commissioning of new systems

All building design work shall comply with relevant codes and standards including University design guidelines. New building works and refurbishment projects that include fire safety equipment and systems will be commissioned by the Fire Safety Office prior to entering into service to ensure compliance under the above Acts, Codes and Standards.

7.5 Fire Wardens - management

7.5.1 General

The Fire Warden database has been designed to assist in complying with legislation for the provision of fire wardens in all areas of the University.  It is the responsibility of Faculties, Schools and Divisions to appoint Fire Wardens for their respective areas and to maintain their compartment of the Fire Warden database.

The Fire Warden Database is a software system that records full details of all University Fire Wardens. Faculties, Schools and Divisions are responsible for the appointment of area Fire Wardens for their respective buildings and are to forward this information to the Fire Officers for inclusion in the Fire Warden database.

7.5.2 Training

Fire Warden Training is provided through Property and Facilities, Fire Safety Office, who conducts a number of courses annually.  The course is delivered by a qualified fire contractor engaged by the FSO and Fire Warden Training manuals are provided to all participants.  It is the responsibility of all Fire Wardens to attend one course annually on one of the dates available.  Extra courses will be provided depending on demand.  The Fire Warden database can identify Wardens who have not attended training and the FSO will send out timely reminders to these people.

7.6 Fire evacuation drills

7.6.1 Requirement

Fire evacuation exercises will be carried out annually within individual buildings on University campuses. The purpose of these exercises is to educate building occupants in the correct manner of evacuating a building in the event of an emergency situation and to meet University legal obligations.

All evacuations will be conducted by the Fire Wardens under the guidance of a Fire Safety Officer using a pro-forma guideline.  Pre and post de-briefing sessions will accompany each evacuation drill.  Buildings that are assessed by the Associate Director OH&S Unit as a high fire safety risk may be required to undertake additional fire evacuation drills.

7.6.2 Assistance for disabled persons

Provisions are made for the safe evacuation of disabled persons detailed in the Fire & Emergency Evacuation Procedure.

7.6.3 Fire emergency procedures

Fire evacuation of a building will be in accordance with established procedures for “Fire and Emergency Procedures”.  In the event of a fire alarm outside of normal business hours, building occupants must evacuate the building.

7.7 Testing of fire evacuation systems

Regular testing of building fire evacuation systems must be conducted by the Chief Fire Warden at agreed appropriate times during normal hours. 

Fire Wardens will report any faults or problems to their respective Chief Wardens who will forward the details to the Fire Safety Office.

7.8 Emergency response

Fire systems on University sites are monitored and responded to by the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and the University Security Section.  In the event of a fire alarm, the Building Fire Wardens will evacuate the building in the prescribed manner. The Security Section will respond under guidelines of Security Emergency Procedure– Fire and Evacuation and will coordinate activities until the arrival of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.

7.9 Effectiveness of FSMP

The following four Key Performance Indicators will be used to monitor the effectiveness of the FSMP.

  1. Number of fires recorded annually/ number of fire related incidents.
  2. Achieving set schedules and time frames (Evacuation Drills and Building Audits).
  3. Measuring the number of Q.F.R.S. call outs against cause.
  4. Number of improvement and prohibition notices from statutory authorities.

8. Management of Fire Safety Issues

This section describes the process for managing fire safety issues at the University of Queensland.  The aim is to define the reporting line for such issues and to ensure timely management of the problem.

8.1 Notification of issues

Fire Wardens and building occupants can assist the management of fire safety by reporting any issues or problems that they may identify to the Fire Safety Officer.  Generally fire safety issues will be identified through the Annual Fire Safety Risk Audits conducted by the Fire Safety Officers and during routine maintenance and inspections by the Fire Maintenance Contractor. 

Systems and equipment failures will be automatically identified through the network fire system via the Central Security Monitoring Station.

Any fire issue that is otherwise identified may be reported in the following manner:

  • PF Assist, P&F Ext 52222 – for equipment or systems failure.
  • Email Security Control Monitoring Station address: security@pf.uq.edu.au - for equipment failure or information after hours.
  • Email  fire@pf.uq.edu.au

8.2 Complaint incident investigation

In the event of an actual fire or the identification of a major fire safety risk the issue will be fully investigated by one or more of the following:

  • Fire Safety Office, P&F.
  • Jointly by Fire Safety Office and the Occupational Health & Safety Unit.
  • The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service – Investigation Unit.
  • Other external assistance depending on the nature and extent of the problem.
Chief Property Officer Mr Fabby Ernesta
Chief Property Officer Mr Fabby Ernesta