A salutary exercise

On 25 March, a fire drill was carried out in Building 60 in the presence of the Director-General. The dual aims were to test the alarm system and give the building's occupants the opportunity to practice the evacuation drill. Everything went well and people were able to resume their normal activities immediately afterwards.


Occupants of Building 60 in front of the assembly point at the end of the fire drill.

Several surface buildings at CERN are fitted with audible alarm systems (frequency-modulated sirens) indicating that personnel should evacuate immediately in the event of an emergency such as a fire. In the framework of training personnel in appropriate responses in the event of fire and to test the alarm devices, fire drills are carried out at the initiative of the heads of departments in collaboration with GS/FB and DGS/SEE. To facilitate the evacuation of a building, fire wardens are trained to supervise the personnel and direct them to the assembly point.

The drill at Building 60 went very smoothly: occupants left the building immediately and waited until the fire wardens had made their reports to the Fire Brigade. Everyone was able to return to work as soon as the firemen had officially announced the drill was over.
In a statement, the Director-General, Rolf Heuer, said: "Fire drills such as these are vitally important for each and every one of us, and I'm very pleased to see that everything went well for the occupants of Building 60." The message is clear: if you hear the alarm, stop whatever you are doing and proceed to the closest assembly point.

To set off the emergency alarm, break the ice.

If you are in a surface building when the alarm goes off, you must:
• Leave all your belongings behind.
• Leave your office immediately in a calm and orderly fashion. Do not turn back at any time during evacuation.
• Proceed to the assembly point via the main staircase or emergency exits and not via the lifts.
Smoke is the number-one hazard during evacuation. Stay close to the ground if you are short of oxygen and use evacuation routes that are clear of smoke.

If you see a fire, set off the alarm using one of the special push-buttons or call 74444.

by CERN Bulletin