Karolinska Institutet works hard to maintain a high level of fire safety. Although major fires are fortunately rare, fires can have serious consequences for individuals and buildings.
Aside from personal injuries, fires also often involve significant costs and lengthy clean-up periods. Factors such as unusable premises, destroyed equipment, and the loss of samples and research data must also be taken into account. Therefore, a fire risks hampering and delaying research and education for a long time.
By working systematically with fire safety, KI shall ensure that the risk of a fire breaking out and the consequences of such an event are minimised as far as possible. Preventive action, training, self-monitoring, routines and guidelines play key roles here. As an individual, you have an important part to play in minimising the risk of a fire, and everyone at KI has a joint responsibility to protect our working environment. Everyone should, of course, feel safe when working at and visiting KI.
The circle in the image above shows how working systematically with fire safety can be structured. Everything aims to ensure an even level of fire safety over time. The level of protection should be reasonable in relation to the operations taking place and the risks that arise within these operations. The requirements for adequate fire protection apply to both physical persons and legal entities, in accordance with the Swedish Protection Against Accidents Act (SFS 2003:778), LSO. How this is ensured is up to the individual or the legal entity.
Ensuring adequate fire protection can be relatively straightforward for individuals or for organisations with small premises and few employees. Large organisations, on the other hand, require a sound structure in order to clarify the responsibilities involved.
Working systematically with fire safety also involves interaction between the tenant and the landlord, each of whom has a responsibility for fire safety in a building. Both parties depend on each other in order for fire safety to be maintained effectively.
The distribution of this responsibility between the tenant and the landlord is normally regulated in a delimitation list that forms an appendix to the rental contract.
The Fire Brigade carries out inspections in accordance with LSO, and in doing so is responsible for reviewing whether KI as an organisation can be deemed to have adequate fire protection. Many different factors are taken into consideration in the Fire Brigade’s assessment, including whether KI has knowledge of its fire risks, how the work involved in preventing these risks is carried out and whether the right conditions are in place to take action in the event of a fire.
Fire safety organisation
KI’s fire safety organisation is designed so that the departments themselves can take responsibility for the working environment and deal with fire safety issues that arise within their operations.
A central coordinating body within University Administration, called the Security and Environment Unit, ensures that there is continuity within the guidelines, routines, rules and training that are shared by the entire organisation. Support tools such as checklists for new employees, self-monitoring systems and training are also drawn up centrally to ensure that the right conditions are in place for the departments.
Delegation templates and role description
Describes how the Vice-Chancellor delegates his/her decision-making powers to the Faculty Boards and to different post-holders within Karolinska Institutet. Revised by the Vice-Chancellor 19/01/2016, applicable from 01/02/2016.
The present revision includes changes in the decisions that the Vice-Chancellor makes himself. The Research Strategic committee was cancelled due to the new ALF-agreement. Clarifications have been made, especially in the area of work environment responsibilities. Clarifications have also been made when it comes to restrictions in the decision-making powers of the Heads of Department.
Fire safety rules
However, no rules can deal with all possible scenarios in detail. The rules should therefore be regarded as a minimum level, and in the event of any uncertainty, contact the University Administration’s central Safety Coordinator at the Security and Environment Unit. Full regulations can be found under “Documents”.
Fire safety off campus
Where more than one department uses the same working space, the departments must come to an agreement on which department’s Fire Safety Supervisor will be responsible for shared spaces. According to the Swedish Working Environment Act, at workplaces that are shared between two or more different organisations there should be a coordination manager for working environment issues. This person’s duties include ensuring that working systematically with fire safety is monitored and dealt with in accordance with the routines and guidelines that apply for the workplace.
KI’s operations at hospitals comply with the fire safety rules, self-monitoring routines and training requirements in place at the hospital in question. However, every operation still comes under the relevant department’s fire safety organisation so that KI can also monitor that it works systematically with fire safety at these workplaces. You can find contact details for the individuals responsible for fire safety issues at the end of the page.
Fire safety training
It is important that you feel safe on campus and at your workplace. Knowing what to do in the event of a fire alarm and how to deal with a fire at your workplace is an important part of this, as is knowing how to prevent fires within the context of your work.
KI offers all employees fire safety training, including both theoretical and practical content. Organisations based at KI’s campuses but which are not organisationally part of KI are also able to take part in this training. These organisations must contact KI’s Security and Environment Unit first. Fire safety training has been procured in order to be able to offer the number of courses needed to meet KI’s needs. All training is currently booked directly with the training provider via the department’s Fire Safety Supervisor.
This should be booked by sending a booking enquiry e-mail, which opens automatically when clicking on the course booking link. When sending the training provider an enquiry, it is useful to provide details of:
- The number of participants and the number of courses required (max. 25 participants per course)
- The desired language (Swedish or English)
- The desired training date
- The name of the department and contact person
Training within fire safety
In addition to fire safety training, new employees should also be given an induction in workplace fire safety. Line managers are responsible for ensuring that new employees receive induction training, but it is normally the Fire Safety Controller at the workplace in question who carries out the actual induction. A checklist has been drawn up, detailing the points that employees need to know about.
The Checklist for introducing new employees to workplace fire safety can be found under “Documents”.
If the fire alarm is activated
It is important that you know how to act in connection with a fire alarm. KI therefore has a flow chart that acts as a general action plan in the event of a fire alarm. You will find the flow chart under "Documents".
Many people are under the impression that the first course of action in the event of a fire alarm is to evacuate. Evacuating is not, of course, the wrong thing to do, but your first course of action should be to try to find the cause of the fire alarm by checking your immediate surroundings. The reason for this is that a small fire that is discovered early can easily be extinguished using a fire extinguisher or other available extinguishing equipment, while a fire that is allowed to spread usually requires the involvement of the Fire Brigade.
In practice, therefore, checking your immediate surroundings involves taking a quick look around you for obvious signs of a fire (visible flames, visible smoke, the smell of smoke or abnormal heat) and, if you discover a fire, making an attempt to extinguish it if you deem this to be possible.
Evacuating a building in a safe and controlled manner requires an effective strategy and organisation. We do not have appointed fire wardens here at KI. Instead, we have built up an organisation based around the strategy that absolutely anyone can act as a fire warden.
There should be evacuation stations in operational areas with the following equipment, as shown in the image above:
- Fire Warden vest
- Fire Warden instruction card
- Rechargeable hand torch
The department’s Fire Safety Supervisor – with expert support from the Security and Environment Unit at University Administration – is responsible for evacuation stations being in place in the department’s operational areas.
In the event of an evacuation situation, the first person to reach the station puts on the vest and follows the instructions on the card. The Fire Warden is responsible for going through the premises and instructing colleagues to evacuate to the assembly point. However, it is important to emphasise that everyone has a personal responsibility for following the Fire Warden’s instructions.
It is also the Fire Warden who contacts the Fire Brigade or a technician from Akademiska Hus when they arrive on site and for announcing – when confirmed by the Fire Brigade or the technician – that it is safe for employees to re-enter the building.
The reason why KI has chosen this type of evacuation organisation is that KI employees are highly mobile. In other words, very few people remain in the same location throughout the working day. There is also a high level of staff turnover, particularly within research operations. It would therefore be too difficult to ensure that the right person is in the right place at the right time with specially appointed Fire Wardens, and to maintain an up-to-date evacuation organisation over the course of several years.
The Fire Warden instruction card can be found under “Documents”.
Fire incidents should be reported in KI’s central incident management system, Key Concept.
Incident reports are an important part of improvement work within the field of fire safety. The more concrete incidents are reported, the easier it is to get an overview of what working systematically with fire safety should focus on.
Self-monitoring of fire safety installations
To ensure that any deficiencies in the most basic fire protection do not go undiscovered for a long time, self-monitoring should be carried out and documented four times during the course of the year. This quarterly self-monitoring is carried out in accordance with KI’s fire safety organisation and routines by the Fire Safety Controller, using the Checklist for self-monitoring of fire safety installations.
The self-monitoring checklist can be found under “Documents”.
To fill in the checklist, choose the option "Hämta" in the far right corner of the documentet. Open the document in the program Adobe Reader. Fill in the checklist, save and send to the person in charge.
Digital tool for self-monitoring
For you who are assigned as a Fire Safety Controller within Central Administration, the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society or KM-Wallenberg laboratory, must use the digital tool for self-monitoring. To be able to log in, you must have the special password for your control area. You will get this password from the Fire Safety Supervisor at your department.
Contactperson of Fire safety:
- Karolinska institutets fire safety rules (pdf, 156.46 KB)
- Checklist for workplace fire safety introduction for new employees (pdf, 169.13 KB)
- Fire warden instruktion card (pdf, 78.52 KB)
- Flowchart in case of fire alarm (pdf, 15.89 KB)
- Checklist for self-monitoring of firesafety installations (pdf, 816.02 KB)
- Fire safety organisation (pdf, 252.6 KB)
- Fire safety supervisors at ki (pdf, 89.72 KB)
- Supervisor of flammable goods at KI (pdf, 100.1 KB)