Dear University of Leeds,

Please could I obtain a copy of all documentation relating to the design, setup, installation and monitoring of fire detection and alarm systems for university buildings including procedures followed by university response staff (such as security/reception teams), interlinking between buildings & blocks (if fitted) and procedures/methodology for call-outs to local fire and rescue authorities including (if fitted) automatic systems.

In the event that this request exceeds the cost limit of £450 please could this request be refined to exclude details about design, setup and installation and instead focus on procedures, monitoring and call-outs.

Yours faithfully,

James Bithell

Freedom of Information, University of Leeds

Dear James Bithell,

Freedom of Information request reference K/20/126

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 6 March 2020. Your request has been allocated the reference number K/20/126. Please include this number in all further correspondence related to your enquiry.

The University of Leeds aims to respond to all FOI requests within 20-working days of receipt. Should this timeframe change, we will write to provide you with an update as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about your request, please contact us at [University of Leeds request email]

Kind regards

Chloe Wilkins
Freedom of Information Officer

Secretariat
University of Leeds

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information, University of Leeds

Dear James Bithell, 

 

Freedom of Information Response (Our Ref: K/20/126)

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 6 March
2020, reference K/20/126.

 

Your request read:

 

“Please could I obtain a copy of all documentation relating to the design,
setup, installation and monitoring of fire detection and alarm systems for
university buildings including procedures followed by university response
staff (such as security/reception teams), interlinking between buildings &
blocks (if fitted) and procedures/methodology for call-outs to local fire
and rescue authorities including (if fitted) automatic systems.

 

In the event that this request exceeds the cost limit of £450 please could
this request be refined to exclude details about design, setup and
installation and instead focus on procedures, monitoring and call-outs.”

 

The University of Leeds holds this information.

 

However, we are withholding this information under section 38(1) of the
Freedom of Information Act. Section 38(1) sets out that information is
exempt information if its disclosure would, or would be likely to endanger
the physical or mental health, or the safety of any individual.

 

We consider that releasing this information could make it easier for
individuals with nefarious motives, wishing to interfere with (disable,
change or otherwise restrict) the alarm systems, to target the University
and to circumvent detection systems. This would clearly endanger the
health and safety of our students, staff and visitors, by not only
increasing the threat of arson or other attack, but also limiting our
ability to quickly and safely alert people to an active fire, and take the
necessary response actions.

 

We are therefore satisfied that the release of this information would
endanger individuals.

 

Section 38(1) is a qualified exemption. This means that the University of
Leeds is required to consider whether the public interest in releasing the
information exceeds the public interest in maintaining the exemption.

 

There is a general public interest inherent in the FOI Act which supports
the disclosure of information on an open and transparent basis. We also
consider there to be a general interest in understanding how the
University operates, and in providing assurance to the public that our
health and safety procedures (including those regarding fire systems) are
robust.

 

However, we consider that the public interest in protecting the health and
safety of our students, staff, and others who may be on campus to be
overwhelming. There is also a very strong public interest in ensuring that
fire and rescue service resources are not diverted inappropriately (in the
case of false alarms).  We therefore conclude that the public interest is
strongly in favour of withholding this information.

 

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions about this
email, however, please do not hesitate to contact us on [1][University of Leeds request email]

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you can request an Internal Review. Requests for Internal Review should be
made in writing using the following contact information:

 

Post:               Mr D Wardle

Deputy Secretary

The University of Leeds

Leeds

LS2 9JT

 

Email:             [2][University of Leeds request email]

 

Requests for Internal Review should be submitted within 40 working days of
receiving the University’s response to your request. Further information
about how the University manages Freedom of Information requests and about
our complaints procedure is also available on our website
(www.leeds.ac.uk).

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted the review/complaints procedure provided by the University.  The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at:  Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Kind regards

 

Chloe Wilkins

Freedom of Information Officer

 

Secretariat

University of Leeds

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[University of Leeds request email]
2. mailto:[University of Leeds request email]