Appleton Tower Emergency Evacuation and Level Plans

Information regarding safety features and fire alarm/ evacuation protocols for Appleton Tower.

Note: We provide the following information as guideline information only. We hope you find it useful.

We do not consider Appleton Tower, with its wide railing gap and open centre void in the main stairwell, safe for children. Anyone responsible for children should ensure they are under constant supervision. It does, however, have emergency evacuation lifts and evacuation chairs for the safe extraction of those who may have problems travelling stairways.

When you are running an event in Appleton Tower all safety issues are your organiser's responsibility i.e. you will need to know how to operate the various facilities, provide the staff to man them where necessary and implement your own procedures for a safe event.

During the working week (09:00 to 16:00 Monday to Friday) Informatics have their own safety teams and First Aiders who may be able to provide some assistance. If you wish our help during these times please contact us and we can discuss what assistance Informatics may be able to provide.

If you are bringing any extra hazards to Appleton Tower, you should inform Informatics beforehand in order to allow us to inform our staff or seek further information from yourselves as regards the hazard. Some examples being; large attendee numbers; loud music/noise.

Maps are available for all the levels to show exit routes and First Aid facilities:

The building has an automated fire detection system, relying on various sensors throughout the building, backed up with a number of manual 'break glass' points.

On a fire alarm activation

  • The building fire alarm (pulsed electronic sounder) will trigger and warning lights will flash.
  • All the lifts will go out of action and return to the basement level.

Evacuation procedure 

On activation of the Fire alarm, or any other emergency evacuation, all personnel within the building should leave by the closest emergency exit or stairwell and exit the building to a clear distance. The main entrance should be kept clear to maintain access for the Emergency Services.

If your event is on any floor other than the basement then emergency evacuation for those who can not manage stairs is by emergency lift or evac chair. The lifts are available from ground (Basement) level and the chairs are generally found on the concourse (G) level and level 1 behind the lecture theatres in the small lift lobby (this chair is hard to find for those unfamiliar with the building).

As an event organiser it is your responsibility to ensure that your attendees are guided out of the building and you should provide some means of doing this along with evacuation teams to assist anyone who may struggle with stairs, if necessary.  

Outwith normal office hours you should have a nominated competent person to:

  • Control your evacuation and act as your local Assembly Controller
  • Contact university Security to relay the emergency to them
  • Ensure your attendees are kept out of the building and away from the front door to allow the Fire Brigade easy access
  • Attend the front door when the Fire Brigade and Security are in attendance, so that you may relay any information to your attendees as regards re-entering the building
  • Ensure your attendees do not re-enter the building until clearance has been given, even if the alarms have stopped sounding.

Outwith normal office hours and if your event is off the basement level, your evacuation team should:

  • Man the control panel in the ground floor servitor's office
  • Send an evac team to anywhere that is necessary, or to those who call in via the refuge comms unit.
  • Use the emergency evacuation lifts to access the appropriate level and collect those who are awaiting rescue and effect an escape from the building
  • Guide all other attendees to the nearest fire exit route.
  • Ensure attendees do not return to the building before the 'all clear' is given by the Assembly Controller

Whilst some of this may seem daunting at first glance, most of it is fairly easily gotten to grips with and common sense. Use of the evac. chairs, however, will require attendance at a training session (a one hour course run by the Fire Office). This course requires advance planning and can not be given at short notice it is not Informatics related and will require direct contact with the Fire Office.  

We hope you will have an enjoyable and safe event. If you would like a walk around and showing of the various facilities we suggest you do this around a week in advance of your event in order to have the information fresh in your mind.

 If you have any questions you would like to ask regarding appleton Tower, please contact Dave Hamilton

Note: You will be unlikely to arrange a course on chair evacuation within a week, so you should make contact with the Fire Office as early as possible.