View current

Fire Safety Management and Evacuation Plan Procedure

This is the current version of the approved document. You can provide feedback on this document to the Enquiries Contact - refer to the Status and Details tab from the menu bar above. To view historical versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose and Objectives

(1) This plan outlines requirements for the management of fire safety and evacuation at The University of Queensland (UQ) and applies to UQ staff and students across all UQ campuses and sites. 

(2) During an emergency evacuation or drill, all building occupants (including but not limited to UQ students, affiliates and visitors) must follow the instructions of UQ Wardens.


(3) UQ has legal obligations regarding fire safety under the following legislation:

  1. Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 (Qld);
  2. Fire and Emergency Services Regulation 2011 (Qld);
  3. Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 (Qld);
  4. Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld).

(4) In addition to this plan, further information and guidance on fire safety requirements, equipment and training is available from:

  1. Australian Standard – AS 3745:2010 Planning for Emergencies in Facilities;
  2. National Construction Code; and
  3. UQ Property and Facilities - Fire Safety and Emergency Training website.
Top of Page

Section 2 - Process and Key Controls

(5) Fire safety management at UQ, including oversight of regulatory compliance and evacuation procedures, is centrally managed and coordinated by the Property and Facilities Division.

(6) UQ will implement fire safety systems and processes to ensure that:

  1. fire safety risk assessments and audits are conducted;
  2. compliant fire safety equipment is provided and maintained;
  3. mandatory fire safety training for all UQ staff is implemented;
  4. fire safety drills are conducted; and
  5. fire emergency and evacuation information is current and easily accessible.

(7) Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) members (Chief Wardens, Deputy Chief Wardens and Emergency Wardens) will be appointed at UQ in accordance with the process outlined in this Procedure.

(8) UQ staff must complete mandatory fire safety training and participate in building fire drills when conducted.

(9) Notification of a confirmed fire:

  1. at UQ’s St Lucia and Gatton campuses should be made:
    1. by activating the nearest fire alarm;
    2. calling triple zero (000); and then
    3. contacting UQ Security (see UQ Emergencies website) on 07 3365 3333.
  2. at any other UQ campus or site, should be made by calling triple zero (000), activating the nearest fire alarm, then contacting UQ Security on 07 3365 3333.

(10) Building lifts must not be used during a fire emergency in the building.

(11) UQ staff responsible for the supervision of people with special needs for evacuations must ensure they comply with this Procedure as determined by the risk assessment for the activity.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Key Requirements

Risk Assessment and Management

(12) Emergency Wardens are responsible for conducting twice-yearly safety inspections using the Warden Checklist (PF-635) for their area of responsibility to determine fire-related safety risks, which will inform:

  1. training requirements of building occupants (e.g., staff or students that work in high-risk areas); and
  2. fire safety equipment requirements (e.g., extinguishers).

(13) UQ staff conducting risk assessments for activities in UQSafe must determine the fire and evacuation risks of the activity.

Fire Safety Equipment

(14) The Property and Facilities Division will install and maintain fire safety equipment across UQ in accordance with regulatory requirements and site-specific risk assessments.

(15) Fire safety equipment that has been used must be replaced with new equipment. Fire safety equipment that has been identified as potentially defective or faulty may also need to be replaced. Organisational Units that require replacement fire safety equipment can submit a request through UQ’s facilities management system ARCHIBUS.

(16) Organisational Units may request additional fire safety equipment in consultation with UQ’s Fire Safety Supervisor (FSS). The purchase of additional equipment (i.e., additional to what is required by legislation) will be at the cost of the Organisational Unit and can be made through ARCHIBUS.

Fire Safety Training

UQ Staff

(17) UQ staff must complete mandatory annual online fire safety training via Workday and participate in building evacuation drills.

(18) UQ affiliates, contractors, volunteers and visitors must complete the required fire safety training modules online.

(19) UQ staff that are appointed as Emergency Wardens must complete additional emergency warden training (see ‘Warden Training’ provisions below).

(20) Additional fire and emergency training is available to UQ staff through the Human Capital Management System (Workday) and includes training in fire extinguisher use and procedures for hazardous materials.

UQ Students

(21) The fire safety training requirements for UQ students will be determined by Course Coordinators based on the risk assessment of course activities. UQ students must complete any fire safety training that is prescribed by the Course Coordinator.

Appointment of Wardens

(22) Emergency Control Organisation members are appointed for each building at UQ, and include Chief Wardens, Deputy Chief Wardens and Emergency Wardens. Heads of Organisational Units (e.g., Executive Deans, Institute Directors, Division Heads) are responsible for ensuring that the following Wardens are appointed for the building their Organisational Unit occupies:

  1. Chief Warden;
  2. Deputy Chief Warden;
  3. Emergency Wardens.

(23) Where more than one Organisational Unit occupies a building, the appointment of Wardens should be determined collaboratively and consultatively between the relevant Heads of Organisational Units. The Property and Facilities Division does not select and appoint Wardens. UQ’s Fire Safety Supervisor (FSS) can assist with the appointment of Wardens with relevant Heads of Organisational Units where a vacancy arises.

(24) The details of all appointed Wardens must be entered into ARCHIBUS by the building’s Chief Warden. To request access to ARCHIBUS, refer to the ARCHIBUS Access and Modules website.

Warden Training

(25) Staff that are appointed as Chief Wardens, Deputy Chief Wardens or Emergency Wardens must complete the annual Emergency Warden training prior to commencing in the role and then annually thereafter. Contact UQ’s FSS for more information about Emergency Warden training requirements (

Emergency and Evacuation Information

(26) Emergency and evacuation information must be clearly displayed in buildings. UQ’s FSS will work with Organisational Units to ensure that the following emergency and evacuation information is current and displayed where appropriate:

  1. emergency evacuation plan; and
  2. emergency evacuation diagrams.

(27) To prepare for emergencies, UQ staff are strongly advised to download, print and complete the relevant Emergency Procedure Card for their area. Copies are available on UQ’s Emergencies website. During an emergency or evacuation, UQ staff must follow the instructions of Emergency Wardens.

(28) UQ entities in non-UQ Buildings must ensure they complete the training required for that building. They can request the evacuation plan for said building from building management.

Supervision of Students and Visitors

(29) UQ staff supervising students or visitors are responsible for informing them of building emergency exits, evacuation procedures and emergency assembly points. During an emergency or evacuation, UQ students and visitors must follow the instructions of Emergency Wardens and/or UQ staff.

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan

(30) UQ staff and students that are mobility impaired persons or persons with special needs should have a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) prepared in consultation with their supervisor, Emergency Wardens and the FSS.

(31) A copy of the completed PEEP should be provided to those involved in its development, the building’s Chief Warden and the Emergency Warden responsible for the area where the person usually works.

Specialised Area Emergency Contacts

(32) UQ staff in laboratories, workshops and other specialised areas must maintain their current emergency contact details in ARCHIBUS to facilitate emergency response for the area with the Chief Warden, Deputy Chief Warden and Emergency Wardens, the Property and Facilities Division and emergency services.

Fire Evacuation Drills

(33) UQ is required to conduct annual fire evacuation drills in each building on its campuses and sites. During a fire evacuation drill, all building occupants must follow the instructions of the Wardens. The planning, scheduling and implementation of fire evacuation drills is managed by UQ’s FSS.

(34) An Emergency Evacuation Practice Report to evaluate the drill will be completed by the FSS or a person authorised by the FSS.

(35) All ECO members who participate in the evacuation drill must attend the fire panel at the conclusion of the practice for a debrief and ensure they sign the attendance register.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Chief Property Officer

(36) The Chief Property Officer is responsible for overseeing UQ’s fire safety compliance obligations and emergency response procedures.

Senior Manager, Security

(37) The Senior Manager, Security coordinates UQ’s actions and is the primary contact point with emergency services (e.g. Police, Fire and Ambulance). During an emergency, the Senior Manager, Security is responsible for communicating with the FSS and Chief Wardens for the affected building to ensure that designated duties are correctly and promptly carried out by appropriate personnel.

(38) The Senior Manager, Security is UQ’s Emergency Coordinator.

Fire Safety Supervisor (FSS)

(39) The Fire Safety Supervisor (FSS) supports the Chief Property Officer in overseeing and managing UQ’s fire safety compliance, and is responsible for:

  1. responding to, investigating and reporting to the Senior Manager, Security all fire incidents on UQ campuses and sites;
  2. ensuring that building emergency evacuation plans and diagrams are current and prominently displayed;
  3. overseeing and reviewing the Warden database in ARCHIBUS and coordinating annual Emergency Warden training;
  4. planning, scheduling and implementation of fire evacuation drills, and maintaining records of Emergency Evacuation Practice Reports;
  5. liaising with emergency services during fire alarms and building inspections at UQ’s St Lucia Campus;
  6. ensuring all legislative requirements and compliance obligations for UQ’s fire safety and evacuation exercises are completed within the set timeframes for all UQ buildings and sites; and
  7. assisting Heads of Organisational Units with the appointment of Wardens.

(40) The FSS is UQ’s Deputy Emergency Coordinator and will act as the Emergency Coordinator in the absence of the Senior Manager, Security or at their direction.

Fire Safety Coordinator (FSC)

(41) The Fire Safety Coordinator supports the FSS in the day to day performance of their duties, and will act in their place if the FSS is absent.

UQ Security

(42) UQ Security will respond and assist during an emergency in the absence of a building’s Emergency Wardens. During an emergency, the UQ responding Security Officer may be required to:

  1. assume all responsibilities of the Chief Warden;
  2. respond to reports of a fire emergency and attend to the Fire Panel to identify the location of the alarm;
  3. investigate the location of the alarm and report any findings to the FSS or Senior Manager, Security;
  4. assist with the evacuation of the building; and
  5. assist emergency services as required.

(43) In the absence of the FSS and the Senior Manager, Security, the Security Officer on duty will act as the Emergency Coordinator until relieved by the Security Shift Supervisor or an appropriately qualified person (e.g. an emergency services officer).

(44) The Security Shift Supervisor is the Emergency Coordinator until relieved by an appropriately qualified person (e.g. an emergency services officer).

Chief Wardens

(45) Chief Wardens are responsible for the following activities in their building:

  1. undertaking mandatory annual Chief Warden training and ensuring their details are registered and up to date in ARCHIBUS;
  2. assisting with the annual training of Wardens in consultation with the FSS;
  3. participating in emergency evacuation drills;
  4. ensuring that on each floor, an Emergency Procedures Card containing the details of the building’s Emergency Wardens is prominently displayed and current;
  5. facilitating evacuation during an emergency by taking control at the building Fire Panel until the arrival of the FSS or UQ Security;
  6. briefing emergency services of the evacuation progression and any information about cause of the alarm and/or unaccounted building occupants; and
  7. in consultation with emergency services and the FSS, advising building occupants when it is safe to re-enter the building.

Deputy Chief Wardens

(46) Deputy Chief Wardens are responsible for the following activities in their building:

  1. undertaking mandatory annual Chief Warden training; 
  2. assisting with the annual training of Emergency Wardens in consultation with the FSS;
  3. supporting and assisting the Chief Warden; and
  4. undertaking the Chief Warden's responsibilities, in their absence, during an emergency.

Emergency Wardens

(47) Emergency Wardens are responsible for supporting Chief Wardens and Deputy Chief Wardens for the fire safety management and evacuation of a designated floor or area of a building. Emergency Wardens are responsible for:

  1. undertaking mandatory annual Emergency Warden training;
  2. understanding their floor or area of responsibility and its entry and exit points;
  3. identifying people that may require special assistance during an evacuation (refer to ‘Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan’ provisions above);
  4. knowing the location and operation of ‘first attack’ fire-fighting equipment (e.g., fire hose reels, fire extinguishers and fire blankets);
  5. performing twice-yearly checks of their area of responsibility and removing or reporting any hazards to the Chief Warden or FSS (see Warden Checklist (PF-635));
  6. reporting on deficiencies of emergency equipment;
  7. ensuring passageways and exits in their area of responsibility are kept clear; and
  8. arranging for the replacement of used fire safety equipment.

(48) During a fire emergency, Emergency Wardens may be required to:

  1. check the source, type and severity and report to the Chief Warden via the Warden Intercom Phone (WIP) or in person at the Fire Panel;
  2. evacuate their area of responsibility by directing building occupants to the nearest safe exit; and
  3. report to the Chief Warden details of occupants who have refused to leave the building. This also pertains to evacuation practices and fire drills.

Heads of Organisational Units

(49) Heads of Organisational Units are responsible for:

  1. the appointment of Emergency Control Organisation members within their building in consultation with other building occupants and the FSS; and
  2. notifying UQ staff of their mandatory fire safety training requirements and checking staff compliance.

UQ Staff

(50) UQ staff are responsible for:

  1. completing mandatory annual online fire safety training and participating in building evacuation drills;
  2. understanding the emergency evacuation procedures for the building and identifying the location of fire safety and emergency equipment and emergency exits; and
  3. following the directions of Emergency Wardens during fire drills and emergency evacuations of the building.

(51) UQ staff supervising students and visitors are responsible for informing them of building emergency exits, evacuation procedures and emergency assembly points.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(52) The FSS will review this Procedure periodically to ensure its currency and relevance to the management of fire safety and evacuation at UQ.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Recording and Reporting

(53) The FSS will report all fire emergency incidents to the Senior Manager, Security.

(54) The Senior Manager, Security will report all fire emergency incidents to the Director, Campus Operations, Property and Facilities Division, and to the Director, Health Safety and Wellness Division.

Top of Page

Section 7 - Appendix


Term Definition
ECO Emergency Control Organisation.
Fire Panel The detection and warning system to communicate warning and evacuation directions to building occupants upon the detection of a fire.
UQ Staff Continuing, fixed-term, research (contingent funded) and casual staff members.