If a fire breaks out in any part of the building, the main fire alarm (deafening siren) will be triggered manually or by a smoke detector. When the alarm sounds, turn off all services on your bench (water, gas and electricity) and leave by the nearest fire exit. Note that the department is fitted with fire doors in all corridors. These are usually held open by magnetic catches, but when the alarm sounds, the catches are released and the doors will all shut. They may be pushed open to allow passage, but under no circumstances should they be wedged open. Do not attempt to use any of the lifts.

As soon as you are clear of the building, assemble at the front, on the Rhodes House side of South Parks Road. Report any missing person known to have been in the laboratories to the safety officer or one of his deputies, who will be at the assembly point. Do not re-enter the building until permission is given.

If a fire breaks out in the Teaching Laboratory, but the alarm system is not activated, then the following procedures apply:

If the fire is small, tackle it with an extinguisher when appropriate; some fires, however, can be made worse by the indiscriminate use of an extinguisher and sand or a fire blanket must then be used to smother the flames. Turn off all Bunsen burners. Do not use water on an immiscible solvent fire. If material in a beaker or flask has ignited, the fire can usually be extinguished by placing a clock-glass or a damp cloth over the mouth of the vessel.

If it seems that the fire may get out of control, tell the technician on duty immediately. He or she will have been trained to tackle more serious fires and will be able to assess whether or not the fire alarm system should be activated. Only in the most serious emergency should the fire alarms be set off by an undergraduate.