For Our Safety
Fire drill at FMUL
Given the importance of safety for all those who study, work and attend the FMUL, a fire drill was carried out at the Egas Moniz Building on 15 December, denoting the commitment of the emergency teams as well as the collaboration and understanding of all those who were in the building at the time.
This fire drill, which has the Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) as a partner entity in the use of the Building, was carried out as part of the Internal Emergency Plan of the EEM and its main objective was to test:
- The effectiveness of the Internal Emergency Plan with regard to the action of the Emergency Teams;
- The response, in terms of reaction and speed, of the employees in general and of the emergency equipment of the premises in an emergency situation;
- The suitability of facilities and infrastructures in the premises;
- The link between the various teams - evacuation, intervention and 1st aid - that are part of the emergency structure.
The fire drill took place during the building’s normal working period, with a fire in the office supplies area next to a teaching/research laboratory, triggering the actions to be carried out foreseen in the Internal Emergency Plan. Accordingly, the employees who detected the incident reported it to the Lobby by telephone and acted with the first line intervention resources available in the affected area. The Security Services assessed the progression of the incident, contacting the Security Delegates, who decided on the need for partial or total evacuation of the building, with the support of the Security Department. The emergency teams were activated and the procedures recommended for the type of situation in which the exercise took place were carried out.
The exercise was technically managed by INERCO Portugal, a company that specializes in the preparation of the Internal Emergency Plan and management of emergency teams. It was attended by observers selected by the company and FMUL guests, the latter for being familiar with the environment in which we conduct our regular activity, and they played a key role in the objective that had been set. The role of the observers was to identify and record:
- Situations that deviate from the conditions set forth in the Internal Emergency Plan;
- Places where the alarm sirens are not heard;
- Places that do not meet the conditions to establish communication using fixed or portable means;
- Possible anomalies in the operation of the building's equipment and systems;
- Control of key points to evaluate the results of the exercise, such as emergency area, emergency committee, meeting points, sensitive points, negative reactions by employees and visitors, effectiveness of the evacuation routes, and identification of possible accidents during the exercise.
The contributions of the observers will feed into the Report that will be presented to the FMUL and which will be the engine for the improvements to be introduced.
It should be noted that some of the participants in the fire drill, whether they belonged to the different teams or not, also gave their contributions regarding the aspects to be improved, giving us a non-technical but fundamental perspective for the improvement of safety behaviours.
The exercise, as would be desirable, identified structural and behavioural aspects to be improved. At the time of writing this article, we await INERCO to submit the Technical Report.
Thanks from the Security Directorate:
- Guest observers, Joaquim Alves (Safety Officer at the Northern Lisbon Hospital Centre), Júlia Alves (Safety Coordinator at the Faculty of Science), Paulo Pereira (Auditor of iMM Lisbon) and Fernando Jorge Rodrigues (Sustainability Area Technician of the Central Services of the University of Lisbon);
- Safety Officers, Dina Rodrigues (FMUL) and Alexandra Maralhas (iMM);
- Members of evacuation, intervention and first aid teams;
- FMUL safety team;
- FMUL maintenance team;
- Academic and Scientific Community as users of the building.
Dra. Isabel Aguiar
Mestre Sónia Barroso