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Are simulation exercises mandatory?

According to the current fire safety regulations, simulation exercises must be carried out in school buildings every year. UMinho carries out periodical simulation exercises.

The occupants of the buildings must be warned about a simulation exercise? 

Yes. The fire safety regulation indicates that the occupants must always be informed that a simulation exercise will take place, although the specific date and time for the simulation exercise might not be shared. 

What is an emergency situation? 

Any situation or possible situation that might risk the safety of the occupants and/or the building. 

Which number should I call in case of an emergency at UMinho? 

​You must always call the internal emergency number of UMinho: 253 60 10 10. You can call this number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

What type of information should I give when I call the internal emergency number 253 60 10 10? 

• Identify yourself. 

• Indicate the place of the emergency: building, floor and room. 

• Indicate the type of emergency (a fire in the laboratory/office, gas leak, etc.). 

What should I do after I call the internal emergency number 253 60 10 10? 

You will be given a set of instructions on what to do. In case you are not given these instructions, you must: 

• Look for a safe place. 

• Wait for the arrival of a member of the internal emergency response team. 

• Provide information about the emergency situation.

How is an emergency situation announced to the occupants of the buildings? 

It is possible to announce an emergency situation in three different ways: alarm siren, evacuation voice message or by verbal indication of building assistants. 

In case of evacuation, where should I go? 

If an evacuation order is given during an emergency, you must head to the meeting point outside the building. 

Where are the meeting points located? 

The meeting points are perfectly identified in the emergency plans of the buildings, the maps of campi, emergency signs indicating the meeting points in the exterior and in the website’s tab “Meeting Points​”. 

What is the difference between a meeting point and an assembly point? 

The meeting point is the place to where the occupants of a certain building must head to in case of evacuation. The assembly points are used according to the level and risk of emergency on campi, that is, they are used in case there is a need to partially or completely evacuate the campi of Gualtar and Azurém. 

What are the advantages of recycling? 

A great part of what we throw away is not rubbish, but resources that can be reintroduced into the economic system and used to produce new products, materials or substances with the same purpose or different ones. The advantages are countless: reducing the amount of waste disposed in landfills; reducing the amount of natural resources used; reducing the extraction of raw materials, lower water and energy consumption during the productive processes that integrate the recovery of waste; collection and treatment of waste at a lower cost; obtaining products that are innovative and cheaper because they are part of the waste in the manufacturing cycle. 

What is selective collection? 

Selective collection is a type of collection that allows the waste to be disposed separately, according to the material it is made of, guaranteeing its recovery through recycling. In relation to the solid urban waste (paper/cardboard, plastic and glass) and as form of sustaining this type of collection, UMinho has specific containers in public areas for each type of waste (ecopoints / recycling points). Large amounts of waste must be sent to free and safe waste deposit places (ecocentres). As an alternative, the municipality entity responsible for the collection of waste should be contacted. 

How should the waste produced be stored/packed? 

The package of waste must be done in places near the production source(s) and using leak-proof containers designed for such purpose, thus preventing the mixture of waste. The various containers must have clear and adequate labelling. Each specific waste flow is subject to different sorting rules, temporary packaging and delivery to the waste management operator, which can be consulted here. 

Who classifies the waste produced? 

The producer of the waste is the one that classifies the waste, since he/she knows which activity produced it, as well as the characteristics of other substances that once in contact with the waste might give it hazardous characteristics. 

Who can transport waste? 

The entities that are allowed to transport waste, within the national territory, are the producer of the waste, the waste receiver duly legalised and licensed employed companies that transport goods by road according to the existing legislation. It should be noted that the transportation of a few specific waste flows is governed by specific legislation. 

What are the main sources of indoor air contamination? 

The indoor air contaminants might originate inside the building itself or in the exterior. These are a few examples of contaminants that might exist inside a building: cleaning supplies, substances released by the furniture or carpets, spaces overcrowded with people, gaseous release of chemical agents by the mechanical equipment, office equipment and materials of construction, activities performed by the building’s occupants, tobacco smoke, natural agents such as mould, pollen, bacteria, among others. The sources of contamination outside the building might include: exhaust gases, pollen and dust, industrial emissions of companies located nearby, waste near the building’s areas of air intake, among others. 

What other aspects might be analysed during the evaluations of the quality of the indoor air? 

Generally speaking, besides measuring the legal parameters other aspects are also analysed in order to trace problems in the IAQ: 

• Sources of pollutants: are there sources of contamination inside or outside the facilities or contained within the building’s mechanical system? 

• Are the current heating and ventilation systems and air conditioning (HVAC) able to properly control the contaminants and ensure thermal comfort? Are these systems appropriately handled and subjected to maintenance procedures? 

• Driving forces and ways in which pollution occurs: are the different pressures of the various areas of the building maintained cleaned in a way that the air moves from “cleaner” areas to dirtier ones? 

• Space occupation: are there indicators of space occupation or practices that advise against its occupation? (for example, tobacco smoke)? 

• Occupants: are the occupants of the building aware that their activities and actions affect the quality of the air? ​​​​​