Fire Procedures at the Failand Observatory Dome

Fire Procedure – Failand Observatory Dome

Instructions for visits by single members (not recommended) and small groups of members (no more than 10).  If non-member guests are present, existing members are required to familiarise those guests with these instructions

Sessions must be planned to be compliant with this procedure

Observing session start checks

Where a single person is in attendance that person is the Telescope Operator.

Where a group of members are present one member must be declared as the Telescope Operator.

The Telescope Operator is responsible for the following checks:

  1. Obtain a torch and ensure that it is in working order.
  2. Check that the lights within the dome are working.
  3. Check that your mobile telephone is working, with good battery and signal strength and that the numbers of the Observatory Director and Mr Jones the Landlord are on it.
  4. Explain to the other members and any visitors that in the unlikely event of a fire occurring in the dome they will be asked to leave it, the observing session will then be over and they must go to their vehicles and leave immediately.
  5. Locate the fire extinguishers so that you know where they are, and their types, quickly in an emergency. Additionally locate the fire blanket.
  6. Check for any obvious fire hazards and neutralize them as appropriate before the session starts.
  7. Be sure you know exactly who is present at all times, so that they can all be accounted for in the event of fire. Complete an attendance record if numbers require.
  8. Ensure that no more than 6 observers are allowed into the dome at any one time.

Action by the Telescope Operator in the Event of a Fire 

  1. If a fire is detected or suspected, immediately switch on the torch and/or the lights.
  2. Raise the trapdoor above the steps and ensure that any obstacles to egress are quickly moved out of the way.
  3. Calmly usher ALL others present out of the dome, check that everyone is out, and instruct them to proceed to the track beyond the observatory area gate. Drivers should be instructed to move any cars on the track to Hill Road to enable fire brigade access should it be required.
  4. If it is safe to do so, turn off the electricity supply to the telescope and tackle the fire with the appropriate extinguisher. Do not place yourself at any risk. Once the fire is extinguished leave the dome and contact the observatory director and ask him to come to the site.
  5. If the fire cannot be tackled safely, or cannot be extinguished, leave the dome and contact the fire brigade – Saying – “There is a fire at the Bristol Astronomical Society Observatory, to the East of Weston Road (B3129), Failand, opposite Hill Drive, Post Code BS8 3UR.”
  1. Stand at the entrance to the track and await the arrival of the Fire Brigade.
  2. Contact the Observatory Director and ask him to come to the site. Contact the Landlord, Mr Jones, and tell him that there is a fire at the dome.
  3. Stay at the site until the Fire Brigade have declared the emergency is over.

Observatory Director – Dave Bennett – 07985 050 812

Landlord – Rob Jones – 07710 508 800

Variations to the procedure

If something is found to be non-compliant during the pre-session checks, the Telescope Operator may judge that it is safe to continue the session. If this happens:

  1. The reasoning must be explained to all in the group and recorded in the observing log. The session can only continue if everyone present agrees.
  1. Reasonable steps must be taken to compensate for the non-compliance.
  1. A safety incident report must be sent to the Observatory Director and Committee compliance lead.

End of session

  1. At the end of the session the Telescope Operator will ensure that the observatory is left such that a subsequent Telescope Operator would find it compliant with this Procedure.
  1. The Telescope Operator will ensure that any reports required under this Procedure are sent in a timely manner, and certainly prior to any subsequent session taking place.
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