Safety first

First up this week, some news for those of you who have applied for returners’ accommodation next year – please note that you’ll hear back from us no later than Friday 30 January and, if your application has been successful, will then need to pay your deposit. Offers will expire after three days, so please keep a close eye on your e-mail to ensure you don’t miss out.

Now, on to our main subject for this week. You may have heard that students in one accommodation block recently experienced a kitchen fire – happily, the alarm was raised, everyone was able to evacuate the building safely, and the Fire Service were really impressed with both the fire safety precautions in the building and the response of all the students and staff. We thought this was a good opportunity to remind you of our top fire safety tips:

Keep fire doors closed. A closed fire door will keep flames and smoke at bay for a long period of time – an open one won’t. Fire doors should be shut all the time. (Except when you’re going through them, obviously. We’ll give you that one.)

Never tamper with any fire equipment – the fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, call points, fire blankets etc. are all there to help keep you safe. Messing with them would put everyone at risk, and be a really serious breach of the residence regulations that could get you into all kinds of trouble – so please don’t.

Always evacuate the building when the fire alarm goes off (except during scheduled weekly tests). Yes, it can be a pain, especially if it’s late/early/rainy/cold. Yes, it could be a false alarm – but you can’t know for sure, so leave the building anyway. (Again, not leaving the building during a fire alarm is a breach of the regulations and can have disciplinary consequences.)

The top cause of false alarms is cooking fumes, but they’re also often caused by steam from showers, deodorant or hairspray, and hair straighteners. We’re obviously not suggesting you give up eating or showering (please don’t!), and I’m not asking anyone to give up their hairstyling routine (frankly, I wouldn’t dare). But, you can do your bit to minimise false alarms by keeping doors closed/windows open/extractor fans on, as appropriate to whichever thing you’re doing.

You can find out more in our fire safety video:

Stay safe!

Residence Life Helen

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