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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Did you not hear the fire alarm?

We are hearing reports that some people failed to evacuate the building last night. One or two people think they did not hear the fire alarm sounding.

The alarm sounded for 13 minutes at 02:00, and everyone who did evacuate was out in less than 10 minutes, which is satisfactory for a night-time alarm when most people would be sleeping.

No one reported their fire alarm sounder not working on Saturday, when we held a fire practice.

If you did not wake up last night when the fire alarm sounded (so presumably only found out about the evacuation this morning), it is imperative that you contact us immediately at to tell us that you did not hear the alarm.

We will need to check the sounder in your room to ensure that you and future occupants of that room do hear the evacuation signal to allow them to leave the Hall safely and in a timely manner in the event of an emergency.

At Connaught Hall, we always tell you in advance if we plan to hold a fire practice. That way, if you hear the alarm and we have not given prior warning, you can be reasonably certain that there is a genuine emergency and you must get out. Pre-warning about fire practices also means you can look for the shortest escape rout even before the drill so you get used to leaving the building by the safest route, rather than always going through the front door.

During planned fire drills, we check every room to make sure you have left. But in a real emergency, we do not check any rooms. We might only have two members of staff in the building at night (as a guaranteed minimum), and they have other responsibilities during an evacuation. It would not be safe for me to ask our staff to knock on every door trying to ensure that everyone has evacuated.

Your personal safety is your personal responsibility. Please always evacuate when you hear the fire alarm sound for more than 5 seconds.