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Town Hall emptied after fire threat.

A FIRE alarm led to an emergency evacuation of staff and members of the public from Nuneaton Town Hall yesterday afternoon.

There were around 200 people inside building at the time and council workers and officers congregated on the opposite side of Coventry Street, while the public was kept clear and a fire check was carried out.

It was 20 minutes before the all-clear was sounded when an electrical fault in the alarm system was found to be the cause. An automatic call to the fire station was not activated.

"I am pleased with the smooth way that our evacuation procedure was carried out," said borough council chief executive Christine Kerr, who monitored the situation from opposite the Town Hall steps. "The building was emptied in about two minutes. Staff went to their allocated evacuation points, a check was made to make sure there were no customers left inside and everyone was quickly accounted for.

"We have an evacuation practice twice a year and we also had a similar alarm situation in April. It is obviously very important that every member of staff knows the procedure. All tills and computers have to be switched off and each department has its own fire marshall to verify numbers."

The alarm fault was triggered in the basement of the Town Hall, where contractors are currently working.

CAPTION(S):

ALL CLEAR... Council officers monitor the evacuation.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 12, 2009
Words:232
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