Fire Safety

As some of you already know we had representatives from Manchester Fire Service in the space last Wednesday (2018-07-18) to discuss what we need to do to make the space safer. What follows is a list of the actions we need to take:

Fire Risk Assessment

Chris has been working on this, we need to ensure it is up to date and as comprehensive as possible before we send it to them next week.

Emergency Lighting

We need to have emergency lighting in all areas leading people to the fire escape routes. As an interim measure we have relocated the enormous torch to snackspace so that it can be used for illumination in the event of an emergency.

image of giant torch in snackspace

Long term the solution doesn’t need to be complex. A couple of battery powered lights pointing in the correct directions will surfice.


The fire service were extremely concerned about both the daisy chained extension leads and the fact that in two places there were extension leads in use which were still coiled.

Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility. While we’re sorting out proper wiring for the space please make sure you’re using extension leads as safely as possible:

  • don’t leave them coiled while in use
  • try to avoid unnecessary daisy chaining
  • don’t leave fans and/or heaters running when you’re not in the space and
  • don’t leave extension leads stretched accross rooms/coridors

Long term we need to install proper wiring. The fire service will be checking so this needs to be done quickly and comliantly.

Routes to fire escapes

These need to be kept clear at all times. They weren’t too bad today however I know we’re somewhat inclined towards entropy so we need to be extra vigalent to ensure that doesn’t happen.

On a related note, should the fire be next to the main door the only escape route for those in the other units would be through the space. When we finally get to the point of installing our inner door lock we need to ensure there is a way to overide it in the event of an emergency.

Fire Escape Locations

We need to ensure that all members know where the fire escapes are. It has come to my attention today that many members believe the door onto the blue stairway is a fire escape it absolutely isn’t and must not be labeled as such. There are two reasons for this: first and most worryingly the ladder is hooked up in such a way that means an escape via it would end in a jump of one story followed by wading accross the canal as the bottom of the ladder is inside a fenced area. The other reason that this should not be used as an escape route is that it’s very rickety and could collapse under any weight. It is for this reason that we also reccomend people don’t use the blue stairway for smoking.

The two routes out of the space in an emergency are:

  1. Through the main door.
  2. Through the door in the left hand corner of the space and out of the metal door at the bottom of the coridor.

map of escape routes

All members should also know how to use a fire extiguisher:

Graphic setowing how to operate a fire extinguisher

This information and the associated map will be added to our welcome pack and should be being included in all inductions. It will also be displayed in the space.

Both fire escapes and escape routes need to be clearly labelled. The board will source signs for all the appropriate doors.

Fire extinguishers

These either need servicing or replacing annually. The board will investigate the most cost effective solution. We shall also be ordering more fire extinguishers, and extra fire blankets.

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