The most significant hazard for students living in residences is fire. You should familiarise yourself with the Fire Action notice in your room when you arrive, and check the escape routes out of the building (including those that you would not normally use). You will not be able to use any lifts in the event of an emergency.
If you discover a fire, activate the fire alarm immediately by breaking the glass cover on the red call point located at the exit, and leave the building. Give the Porter the details and make your way to the assembly point. Our security staff will inform the Fire Service and manage the incident. If you hear the Fire Alarm, leave the building immediately and head to the assembly point. You mustn’t re-enter the building until you are told to do so.
Take a moment to watch our fire safety video here, then refer to the information below it for more help and advice designed to keep you and others safe in our accommodation.
Useful fire safety information
Fire alarm testing
We test the alarms weekly at a time locally advertised. On these occasions, you do not have to evacuate the building but at any other time you should assume that there is a genuine fire
Fire extinguishers are provided to assist with fire suppression in the very early stages of a fire. You are not expected to fight a fire - this will be the task of trained personnel, such as the Security and Portering team. If you find that any extinguishers are damaged or have been tampered with, then you must report this to the Porter who will arrange to deal with the matter. Abuse of firefighting and fire prevention equipment is a criminal act and will lead to severe disciplinary action and large fines, not to mention compromising your safety and that of other residents.
Accidental false alarms can cause great inconvenience, particularly if they occur in the middle of the night. More seriously they can delay the Fire Service from attending a genuine emergency elsewhere. Even if you know you have caused the activation and believe there is no danger you must still evacuate the building, every time. Breaking the glass of the fire alarm call point when there is no fire is malicious; anybody identified as having done so will be fined £300 and may be excluded from the accommodation. It’s also a criminal act liable to criminal prosecution. Please see sections 12.1-12.4 and 13.7 of the Terms and Conditions for more.
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs)
In the event that the fire alarm sounds, are you able to move with ease to the staircase (with help if necessary) and then negotiate the stairs reasonably easily without help? If you feel you cannot confidently answer ‘yes’ to these two questions, please contact your Accommodation Manager to discuss whether a PEEP should be written for you. Remember, you won’t be able to use the lifts during an evacuation.
Our accommodation has an enhanced level of fire detection for your safety, including heat and smoke detectors as well as fire doors with self-closing mechanisms.
Smoke detectors are very sensitive and may be easily activated by aerosols such as deodorants and hair sprays, and the use of hair dryers or straighteners. Please be careful not to use these directly under the detectors. Keep the shower door shut whilst showering and afterwards in order to prevent steam from entering your room or the corridor.
When cooking, you should use the ventilation at maximum level to prevent fumes from activating the fire alarms. Never wedge the kitchen door open or leave your cooking unattended and keep your grill pan clean: a build-up of grease or fat creates smoke. Lining the pan with foil that you can easily discard when dirty makes an easier job of keeping it clean.
Our fire doors can hold back fire and smoke for at least 30 minutes and prevent a fire from spreading, so under no circumstances should the mechanism be disconnected or tampered with. Not only is this a criminal offence but it may put the lives of other residents at risk. You must not store any items on corridors or stairways in University buildings, including bicycles, boxes, laundry and sports kits. This legal requirement ensures that escape routes remain clear.
Faulty equipment can cause electric shocks and often fires, so you shouldn’t use any electrical equipment that is cracked, shows burn marks, has a worn cable, exposed copper wire, is faulty in operation or smells odd when in use.
You are responsible for the Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) of any non-rechargeable electric equipment you bring with you. If this has been bought inside the UK you must arrange to have it tested annually after the first year. Anything brought in from outside the UK must be tested and your Accommodation Manager can supply you with a replacement electric cable for the equipment. For rechargeable equipment such as mobile phones and tablets, UK chargers are readily available and are preferred to the use of adaptors.
The use of irons and any kind of cooking equipment is not permitted in bedrooms (except studio accommodation). Refrigerators and freezers may not be kept in study bedrooms. If you need one for medical purposes, speak to your Accommodation Manager to obtain permission. If an item that is deemed to be dangerous is discovered in the accommodation, it will be removed by the Accommodation Manager, Porter or Technician, who will then contact you about it.
Please see sections 12.1, 12.3, 13.7 and 13.8 of the Terms and Conditions.
Items which must not be brought in to the accommodation
The following items must not be brought into residences: Additional heaters, halogen lamps, chip pans or deep fat fryers, oil, petrol, paraffin or bottled gas appliances (including oil lamps), candles or incense sticks, shisha pipes, plug-in air fresheners, aromatherapy oil burners and fondue sets. These can cause serious fires. You will be asked to pay for any damage caused by their use and may also be fined under the disciplinary procedures.
PLEASE NOTE that additional soft furnishings are permitted only with the permission of your Accommodation Manager, and bicycles are not permitted inside the accommodation at any time.
Please see sections 11.1 and 12.3 of the Terms and Conditions.