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University Information Services


1. General policy and responsibilities

It is the University Information Services (UIS) policy to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of staff, students and any other persons who may use or visit UIS premises.

1.1 Responsibilities of the Director of UIS

The Director of UIS is responsible for health and safety in the department as stated in section 3 of the University Safety Policy.

1.2 General responsibilities of staff, students and any other persons who may use or visit UIS premises

As stated in section 5 of the University Safety Policy, it is the responsibility of all persons: -

  1. To co-operate with the University in general and UIS in particular on matters of health and safety.
  2. To use correctly any work items provided by the department or, in the case of contractors, the employer including personal protective equipment (e.g. goggles, gloves, clothing) in accordance with training or instructions.
  3. Not to interfere with or misuse anything provided for health, safety or welfare.
  4. To make themselves familiar with the Emergency and Evacuation Procedures displayed on exit routes.

All staff should be familiar with this Safety Policy document.

1.3 Policy objectives

  • To bring this Safety Policy statement to the attention of staff and users of UIS.
  • To seek the co-operation of staff and users of UIS to promote health and safety awareness and the continual development of a positive safety culture.
  • To ensure that the premises, plant and machinery are kept in a safe condition and that proper steps are taken to remedy defects.
  • To ensure that working practices are safe or where hazard is unavoidable to conduct and record risk assessment to reduce it to an acceptable level.
  • To ensure that regular safety inspections take place.
  • To ensure that procedures for dealing with emergencies and first aid provision are in place and reviewed regularly.
  • To provide adequate welfare facilities.
  • To ensure that staff are informed, trained and given the supervision necessary for their health and safety.
  • To comply with all current and future safety legislation.
  • To allocate resources effectively to meet the aims of the policy.

2. Organisation and structure

The Director of UIS has overall responsibility for health and safety in the department.

2.1 Delegation of duties

The Director of UIS has delegated certain duties to the:

  • Departmental Safety Committee - to keep the Director of UIS informed on health and safety matters affecting the department.
  • UIS Safety Officer: to advise the Director of UIS on health and safety matters affecting the department and act as advisor and co-ordinator within the department to ensure compliance with current health and safety legislation; to ensure that appropriate records are kept and reviewed on a regular basis; to ensure that new members of staff are inducted into safety management, and to raise and maintain awareness of safety matters within UIS.
  • UIS Fire Safety Manager - to advise the Director of UIS on matters relating to fire safety affecting the department; to ensure that the department complies with current fire safety legislation and to arrange for training of volunteer Fire Wardens and Evac chair operators.
  • UIS Building Services Manager - to ensure that the premises, services and plant are kept in good order to comply with current legislation and that appropriate records are kept; to be responsible for Electrical Safety (excluding Computer equipment) in the department and to oversee the activities of contractors working on the premises. The Building Services manager also acts as Environmental Coordinator for the department.
  • Secretary to the Safety Officer - to ensure the safe-keeping of all departmental records relating to health and safety; to keep the Departmental Accident Book; to keep and order First Aid supplies; to keep records of Safety and First Aid qualifications gained by members of the department and to ensure newly appointed staff are given copies of the Departmental Health & Safety Policy and the VDU/Workplace Self-Assessment information, a copy of which can be found on the UIS intranet.
  • UIS Heads of Division:
    • To attend Health and Safety Committee meetings or delegate one or more members of the Division when requested to do so.
    • To inform section managers of any relevant items concerning health and safety raised at the Health and Safety Committee meetings, so that they can be discussed/implemented at Group meetings.
    • To bring to the Health and Safety Committee meetings any relevant items raised in Group meetings.
    • To take action on any health and safety matter that needs urgent attention with the advice of the Fire Safety Manager / Safety Officer.
    • To ensure that Risk Assessments are carried out in accordance with HSE guidance, and/or as advised by the Safety Officer, especially with respect to VDU Workplace assessments, use of tools and machinery, electrical safety and any other activity or procedure of a hazardous nature.
    • To arrange for appropriate safety training for staff to use any equipment which is part of their job.
  • Individuals: All persons in the department have a responsibility both to ensure their own safety and the safety of any other person who may be affected by their actions. All persons in the department must comply with Departmental Safety Procedures.

2.2 The Safety Committee - Membership and Terms of Reference

Members of UIS Health and Safety Committee, which meets quarterly:

Ian Cooper Chair (0)1223 (3)30464
Dawn Pammenter Committee Secretary (0)1223 (3)34703
Jim Allan Stores (0)1223 (3)34601
John Mayes Fire Safety Manager (0)1223 (3)34996
Clive Brown Networks / West Cambridge Data Centre (WCDC) (0)1223 (3)34698
Richard Davies Granta Backbone Network (0)1223 (3)34715
Andrea Eccles Safety Office (0)1223 (7)66356
Ronald Haynes UCU Representative / Institution Strategy (0)1223 (3)34721
Michelle Hollins Reception / User Systems (0)1223 (3)48448
Andy Kent Student Systems (0)1223 (7)66626
Vacancy Assistant Fire Safety Manager / Building Services  
Stuart Rankin HPC & Research Computing Services (0)1223 (3)46501

Will Smith

Safety Officer
Building Services Manager
Environmental & Disability Coordinator
UNITE Union Representative

(0)1223 (3)34444

The purpose of the Committee is to:

  • provide general health and safety information and arrange for any necessary specialist instruction or training in health and safety.
  • advise the Director on health and safety policy.
  • discuss and resolve any matter relevant to health and safety brought to its attention.
  • formulate and review emergency procedures.
  • make arrangements for/carry out regular safety inspections.
  • investigate accidents and incidents and recommend action to be taken to prevent recurrence.
  • monitor that appropriate risk assessments have been completed.
  • ensure that information received from the University Safety Office regarding changes in health and safety regulations is acted upon.
  • review this policy annually.

The Committee includes at least one representative member from each type of working environment within UIS and local Union Safety representative(s).

Membership of the Committee and Minutes of meetings are displayed on notice boards and on the Information Service Minutes Web Server.

Minutes are also distributed to the University Safety Adviser's Office and to Division Heads so that any relevant items can be discussed in Group meetings.

3. Health and safety management arrangements and procedures

(For contact telephone numbers and e-mail see Appendix 'A' below.)

3.1 Reporting hazards/safety problems

Anyone who becomes aware of a health or safety hazard must report it immediately to his/her manager or to the Safety Officer or a member of the Safety Committee if the manager is not available.

3.2 Contractors and visitors to the department

Contractors, service engineers and visitors to UIS premises must report to Reception on arrival, sign in and identify a contact name in the department who should meet them. That contact will be responsible for the conduct of the visitor(s) while on-site and must ensure that they are made aware of Emergency and Evacuation procedures and any local conditions which may affect their health and safety and that any work carried out by them does not affect the health and safety of others.

Open Days: All areas to which visitors are allowed must be adequately supervised. Restricted areas must be kept secure at all times.

Children: Following the University policy, children under 16 are only allowed on the premises with the permission of the Director of UIS. They must always be accompanied by an adult and should not enter kitchens or workshops. If arriving unaccompanied they should be met at UIS Reception.

3.3 Animals in the Department

The presence of animals in the department is generally forbidden, except for guide dogs.

3.4 Accident/incident reporting

There are two procedures for all accidents, near misses, injuries and work-related illnesses:

  • The Departmental Accident Book (which is kept in the Admin Office) must be filled out, by the person involved in the accident/incident, with the relevant details and signed. The Secretary can fill out the form, if necessary. The completed forms will then be copied to the relevant authorities.
  • The University uses AssessNET, to report accidents/incidents. The Safety Officer and the Departmental Administrator or a deputy DSO are usually registered to use AssessNET. If you are aware of any changes to personnel, please let the Safety Office know immediately so we can update our contact list. All those registered as users will be sent an ‘activation email’ from AssessNET and should activate their accounts before trying to use the main system.
  • AssessNET User Guide: Step-by-Step Guide and Online Incident Reporting Guidance Notes

3.5 First aid

See Appendix 'B' below for a list of first aiders in UIS.

First aid boxes are located in various common areas of UIS and in all UIS vehicles, together with lists of qualified First Aiders in the department. First Aiders can be contacted by dialing the department’s Emergency & First aid No. x36060 in office hours, or the University Security Control Centre x31818 outside of office hours. The contents of First Aid boxes are checked and replenished monthly but please report any items that are depleted/missing to the Secretary of the Departmental Safety Committee, 2N08 (Dawn Pammenter: or x34703).

3.6 Accident/injury/illness

In case of a serious accident, injury or illness at work, get help without delay. Call the department’s Emergency & First Aid telephone no. x36060 or the University Security Control Centre on 101 who will contact the Emergency Services and get immediate help for you. If you call the Emergency Services directly on 999 you should send a responsible person to meet them at the entrance to the site; a First Aider should also be called to give immediate assistance to the casualty. The Safety Officer or Group Manager should be informed as soon as possible.

3.7 Medical conditions

Any member of staff who has a medical condition, which may require special first aid treatment, for example, a serious allergy, may wish First Aiders in UIS to be aware of this. Please consult the Safety Officer or a member of the Safety Committee in the first instance. Every reasonable effort will be made to maintain confidentiality.

3.8 Smoking

Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the department. There is a smoking area outside at the back of the building.

3.9 Occupational health

The University Occupational Health Service is available for consultation by any member of staff with a work-related health problem. Anyone who suspects that they may be suffering from work-related illness should raise the issue with the Safety Officer (x34444) or contact the Occupational Health Service (x36597) directly.

3.10 Fire

Fire alarm call points are red 'Break Glass' boxes and are located on exit routes from the department. Wherever you may be working, make sure you know all your means of escape and where the nearest fire alarm call points and extinguishers are. Keep all fire doors closed and clear and fire exit routes clear at all times. Do not enter a building when the fire alarm is sounding

To call the Emergency Services dial 999. You will need to tell them the correct address (below) and the name of the building where the fire is:

University of Cambridge
University Information Services
Roger Needham Building
7 J J Thomson Avenue
Cambridge CB3 0RB

To call the University Security Control Centre in an emergency, dial 101.

Fire alarm/evacuation procedure

New Museums Site/Mill Lane, Old Press Building

The sound of the fire alarm may be a bell (most areas) or a klaxon (Phoenix building) but it is loud and continuous; the only exception is the Videoconferencing Suite on Cockcroft 4 where the alarm is a red flashing light. On hearing the alarm leave the building by the nearest available exit. DO NOT USE LIFTS. If you encounter smoke or fire, turn your back and find another way out. Proceed to the assembly area as designated by the local Fire Safety Manager. Do not re-enter the building until told it is safe to do so by the Fire Brigade or the Fire Safety Manager.

Roger Needham Building

The sound of the fire alarm is a klaxon. Upon hearing the alarm, leave the building by the nearest available exit. DO NOT USE LIFTS. 
If you encounter smoke or fire, turn your back and find another way out. Proceed to the assembly areas (B) or (D) at the front and rear of the building. Do not re-enter the building until told it is safe to do so by the Fire Brigade or the Fire Safety Manager. UIS has a number of trained volunteer Fire Wardens who will assist the Fire Safety Manager in the event of an Emergency Evacuation.

Evac Chair - to enable safe evacuation of disabled and mobility-impaired people, the Evac Chair must ONLY be used by trained personnel.

Roger Needham Building Evacuation chairs are situated at the front and rear stairway of floor 2. Disabled members of staff will be advised of an assessed Personal Evacuation Plan (PEP). Disabled visitors will be given their visitor’s card upon arrival. Members of staff receiving visitors are responsible for ensuring their visitor's safety.

If you discover a fire

Raise the alarm by operating the nearest fire alarm call point. Close all windows, switch off power and close doors on your way out, IF you are not putting yourself at risk by doing so. Dial 01223 (3)31818 to alert the University Security Control Centre and confirm that there is a fire.

Fighting a fire

First, ALWAYS raise the alarm by operating the fire alarm call point. Only use fire extinguishers if you have been trained to do so and there is no personal risk. If an electrical appliance is on fire, switch off the current if safe to do so, before tackling the fire. DO NOT USE a water extinguisher on an electrical fire. Any use of fire extinguishers must be reported to the Fire Safety Manager.

Routine procedures

Fire alarm call points are tested and logged on a regular basis by Building Services. Fire-extinguishing equipment are tested on a routine basis by contractors for the University Fire Office. Buildings Fire Risk Assessments are carried out by the UIS Fire Safety Manager and are reviewed annually. Practice evacuations of buildings are carried out annually. The Safety Committee reviews the effectiveness of all emergency evacuations. Emergency lighting is tested on a 2-monthly basis.

3.11 Inspections

Routine annual safety inspections of all areas occupied by UIS are carried out by members of the UIS Safety Committee. Reports are issued to the Health & Safety Committee and any necessary remedial action referred to the relevant authority.

3.12 Consultation and communication

Any matters concerning health and safety that are brought to the attention of the Health and Safety Committee either by the University Safety or Fire Officer or by any member of staff, will be discussed at committee meetings and the appropriate action taken forward. For distribution of Minutes see section 2.2. In general, staff will be informed of any health and safety information that is of concern, through Group Meetings or directly via email if appropriate. The Trades Unions UNITE and UCU each have an elected Safety Representative in the Department:

Will Smith (UNITE) - x34444 and Ronald Haynes (UCU) - x34721.

3.13 Equipment, plant and machinery

UIS Passenger lifts are maintained by Estates Management Lift Maintenance Team;
Lifting equipment is inspected annually by the University Insurers;
Pressure vessels are inspected annually by the University.
Records for all of the above are held by Estates Management.

3.14 Safe systems of work

Lone working

Staff working alone must be aware of the UIS Lone Working Policy and associated Risk Assessments. UIS makes every effort to ensure that lone working staff are supported and protected, and that the risks to lone workers are minimized. Staff whose jobs require that they work alone, are encouraged to take responsibility for sharing information about their whereabouts and to report any accidents or incidents that may occur whilst they are working alone.

Out of hours working

Staff working alone out of normal office hours on UIS premises must not use the machine tools and must not work on any unshielded high voltage electrical equipment. In an Emergency call the University Security Control Centre on 101 or call the Emergency Services directly on 999.

Working in other Departments

UIS staff working in other departments must make themselves aware of and comply with the safety policy and emergency procedures of the department in which they are working. It is their duty to introduce themselves to the member of staff who is in charge of the area they will be working in, to ask what specific hazards are in that area and seek assurances that risks from these hazards have been minimalized. They must adhere at all times to the local health & safety guidance and must ascertain fire escape routes and assembly points before commencing work. They must also make themselves familiar with local first aid procedures.

If, through the course of work a safety hazard is discovered, that hazard must be reported to the member of staff in charge of the area. If the hazard is high risk, work may have to cease until the risk is measured and steps taken to lower that risk. If using other departments' access equipment, for example, large steps, the member of staff must ensure that it has been tested according to the University Safety Office Code of Practice “Working Safely at height”, March 2016, see:

Networking equipment

UIS owns and maintains networking equipment in other departments. UIS Staff who maintain this equipment must comply with the local safety policy and make themselves aware of the emergency procedures of the department in which they are working.

3.15 General Housekeeping

All areas should be kept clean and tidy and rubbish should be disposed of and not allowed to accumulate. Paper recycling bins are situated in most areas - use them. 
Items accessed regularly should not be kept on shelves above head height; where such shelves are in use safe means of access - kick stool, ladder or scaffolding must be provided and used. NEVER stand on a chair or desk to access something out of reach. 
Desk and Filing cabinet drawers should not be left open. 
Broken furniture and fittings should be reported to Building Services - 34444 or 34601.

3.16 Workshops, machine rooms and print room

The Electronics Workshop GN09

  • Lone working is not permitted with unshielded high voltage electrical equipment

  • All activities of a hazardous nature are subject to Risk/COSHH Assessment 

  • First aid procedures to deal with electric shock must be clearly displayed 

  • Dust extraction facilities must be used at all appropriate times

The Building Services Workshop

  • Power tools may only be used by trained staff and with the permission of the Building Services Manager. Use is subject to risk assessment. 
  • Items provided for personal protection must be worn. 
  • Power tools must be used correctly and with the appropriate guards in place. 
  • Dust extraction facilities must be used at all appropriate times. 
  • Lone working out of hours is NOT permitted 
  • The area must be kept clean and tidy at all times
  • Maintenance of the power tools is the responsibility of the Building Services Manager and building services technicians. 
  • Keys to the Building Services Workshop are only issued with the authority of the Building Services Manager

West Cambridge Data Centre (WCDC)

The West Cambridge Data Centre is managed by a core team of staff and is subject to its own set of safety guidelines and procedures implemented by the WCDC management. Users and visitors must follow the protocols and guidelines as posted on the WCDC safety notice boards.

UIS secondary machine rooms (MER, Soulsby, CNH)

Fire suppressant system

UIS machine rooms are protected by a gas-based fire suppressant system. Each system will normally be set to automatic release. It is important that all users of these rooms study and understand the guidance posted beside the entrance to each room. It is recommended that all staff using a machine room learn how to de-activate the automatic release mechanism. Contact UIS Building Services or the UIS Fire Manager for guidance.


UIS machine rooms have been designated as action value 1 noise level as outlined in ‘Noise at Work Regulations 2006’. It is recommended that users planning to remain in the area for prolonged periods of time wear ear protection. Ear defenders are available and should be used.

The Print Room GN17

Machines in the Print room MUST ONLY be operated by authorised and trained personnel and with the permission of the Print room Manager. Use of any machine is subject to risk assessment. Staff members are advised to wear ear protection when using the main printer.

3.17 Risk assessment and procedures

Risk assessments

A risk assessment must be carried out and recorded wherever there is a significant risk of injury or ill health from a hazard or hazardous process. Risks may arise from machinery, transport, access, handling/lifting, electricity, dust, chemicals (see section 3.21 below), environmental factors, poor organisation etc.
It is the responsibility of each Division Head to ensure that Risk Assessments are carried out, recorded and reviewed in consultation with the staff concerned. Advice can be obtained from the Safety Officer who may consult the University Safety Office.

Risk assessment forms can be obtained from the Safety Officer.

Records of Risk Assessments should be kept by each department sector and a copy should be given to the Safety Officer. Risk Assessments should be reviewed annually. UIS is aware of the extra duty of care owed to expectant mothers and Risk Assessments will be made available upon request.


The department has a certain number of procedures that should be adhered to. The following is a list of the current procedures:

  • Dealing with a suspect package
  • Disposal of redundant equipment (WEEE)
  • Drum handling
  • Fibre optics handling
  • Fire alarm
  • First aid
  • Intruder
  • Lone working
  • Major power outage
  • Reception intruder
  • Signing in – Reception
  • Visiting children
  • Working in routing chambers

These procedures are updated on an annual basis (or as required) and are posted on the UIS Staff Intranet or can be found in the UIS Admin Office (2N08).

3.18 Electrical safety

Portable electrical equipment

Portable electrical equipment is subject to a program of testing carried out by the Building Services Group. Any equipment failing the tests will be removed from service immediately. Staff must not use any equipment that does not display a valid green safety test sticker. Faults or problems with any electrical equipment must be reported to Building Services without delay and the equipment removed from service immediately. Users of portable electrical equipment - e.g. kettles, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, socket blocks should visually check the equipment regularly and report any signs of wear or damage to Building Services. Socket blocks must never be chained one to another. Under no circumstances may privately owned heaters or fans be used on the premises. Staff requiring extra heating or cooling should contact Building Services.

Computer equipment

Staff should perform a visual check of their workstation(s) regularly to ensure that cables, plugs and sockets are secure and free from damage. Where socket blocks are used cables must be plugged in firmly; socket blocks must be kept clear of paper and other items. Drinks must not be stored or consumed where spillage into any equipment or electric socket could occur. There must be sufficient space around the equipment for ventilation and cooling; ventilation slots must not be blocked by documents, media etc.

3.19 Safe use of display screen equipment

The University of Cambridge Information Leaflet for the safe use of Display Screen Equipment is available in hard copy and online. It contains all the information necessary to set up a workstation correctly and should be consulted whenever a workstation is set up. New members of staff are asked to complete the VDU Workplace self-assessment checklist as part of the induction process. The DSE leaflet is available online at:

Further self-assessment exercises will be carried out every year and whenever there is a change in equipment or location. If you have a new workstation or change your location please ask at the Admin Office (2N08) for a VDU/Workstation Self-assessment checklist. Completed self-assessment forms will be collected by the Secretary of the Health and Safety Committee Meeting and passed on for the DSO to investigate any issues. The DSO will provide help and advice on completing the checklist at the user's request. It is important that workstations are set up correctly and that any additional equipment e.g. footrest/document holder, etc., is provided by the Secretary of the Health & Safety Committee where appropriate. In accordance with current guidelines adequate rest periods should be taken away from the keyboard, in order to avoid possible health problems in the future.

Food and drink should not be consumed at the workstation.

If you think you have a health problem relating to your workstation, please consult the Safety Officer, Will Smith x34444 or Dawn Pammenter x34703 without delay.

3.20 Manual handling

Any member of staff that might be required to lift and carry any equipment as part of their work will receive Manual Handling Training. Risk assessments concerning manual handling will be reviewed on a regular basis and additional training be given if required. 
Staff are advised never to lift or move anything that may be too heavy, and to always get help from trained staff. Trolleys are available from the Building Services team. When ordering exceptionally large or heavy equipment, UIS staff members are advised to consider whether or not it can be safely transported, handled and stored. Where possible, smaller quantities of equipment should be ordered to avoid the necessity to handle very large or heavy items.

3.21 Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)

COSHH risk assessments must be carried out wherever the handling/use of chemicals is involved. This includes the use of some proprietary cleaning fluids. Forms and guidance are available on the University Safety Division website:

One copy of the COSHH form should be kept in the relevant area and one given to the Safety Officer for reference. Procedures should be reviewed annually.

3.22 Personal protective equipment

PPE is provided by the Department includes safety glasses, safety shoes, gloves and/or ear defenders, which must be worn when and where required. Equipment should be maintained in good condition and replaced, when necessary, by the manager responsible. Safety shoes should be replaced annually or sooner if they become damaged.

3.23 Asbestos-containing materials

Members of staff who, through the course of their work, believe that they have discovered asbestos-containing material MUST inform their local manager (the Safety Officer if it is in a UIS building; the local facilities manager if in another department) who will immediately seek advice of the University Asbestos Awareness Team. If the material is damaged - or the continuation of work requires the material to be disturbed, work must stop until it has been verified as a non-asbestos containing material, has been professionally encapsulated or professionally removed.

3.24 Disposal of redundant electrical equipment

Under the Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, obsolete electronic and some electrical equipment must be disposed of using a recognised waste disposal contractor. If you have any equipment that needs to be disposed of, please contact Building Services, x34601.

3.25 Disposal of used batteries

A number of small bins have been placed around the department for the disposal of used batteries. These batteries are collected on a regular basis, and disposed of in the same procedure as the redundant electrical equipment.

3.26 Security intruder procedure

If a member of staff should notice any person(s) acting suspiciously or has gained unauthorised entry to any parts of UIS, they must follow the following procedure:

  • Do not at any time put yourself at risk and under no circumstances must you confront the intruder
  • Go to the nearest telephone and call Security (101)
  • Be prepared to offer your name, which department, which floor and which building you are in
  • Give a brief description of the suspicious-looking person – and state what is making you suspicious
  • Call UIS emergency number x34447
  • Inform the receptionist that you believe there to be a suspicious person, where they are and that you have reported the matter to University Security
  • If possible and safe to do so, observe the suspicious person from a distance until Security staff arrive.

3.27 Dealing with Suspect Letters and Packages

If you are in any doubt about a package, letter or parcel, DO NOT touch it, move it or open it. Call Security immediately x31818. Please see the link attached for guidance:

APPENDIX A: Contact telephone numbers and e-mail

Fire Safety Manager


John Mayes

Safety Officer

Building Services/Environmental Manager

Disability Liaison 


Will Smith

Emergency Services





Security (Emergency)



Secretary to Safety Officer


Dawn Pammenter

Security (Routine call)



UIS Emergency (other than First Aid)



UIS First Aid



University Environment Office


University Fire Officers



University Occupational Health Service


University Safety Office



APPENDIX B: First aiders in UIS

Name Phone number Mobile number
Andy Batey (0)1223 (3)34334  
Ruth Charles (0)1223 (3)35467  
Natalie Glasberg (01223) (7)66239  
John Mayes (0)1223 (3)34996 07774017566
Amal Ouchikh (01223) (7)66209  
Adrian Stone (0)1223 (3)35634  


During office hours, call the UIS Emergency and First Aid number: (3)36060.

At any time call the University Security Control Centre 31818 (or 101 in an Emergency).