We are fortunate in that we have had very few fires in our accommodation. The causes of those fires show that they were preventable. The results of a fire are distressing, with possessions, course work and home lost or damaged beyond use. You can take action to minimise the risks.

False alarms:

We are known to suffer from a high number of false alarms, and we have been tasked by the fire brigade to reduce the number of these. Every false alarm requires a fire brigade attendance which takes them away from other potentially more serious incidents. If you can take steps to limit the number of false alarms this also limits the inconvenience to you and your fellow residents

Please take the time to read this information, it might just save a life and it will certainly reduce the inconvenience of false alarms for yourself and others.

The main causes of fire alarm activation are:

Fumes from cooking

Heat detectors are provided in the kitchen in many properties and will not sound when cooking. However the alarm can be activated by the smoke detector in the hall or corridor. This can be prevented by ensuring the kitchen door is closed during and after cooking together with the correct use of extractor fans. If this procedure is adopted and false alarms persist please contact your Accommodation Manager.

The fire alarm is often activated because the fire door to the kitchen/pantry is wedged open. Propping open the fire doors is a very serious offence and puts Students` lives at risk. If you are found to be keeping fire doors open we will take the following action:

a) On the first occasion your Accommodation Manager / Warden will speak to the student(s) involved to ensure procedures on safety are understood. They will also be issued with a written warning.

b) On the second occasion the Assistant Director -Residence life, who is a named student discipline officer of the University, will use the Code of student conduct to enforce a fine up to a maximum of £250 against the student(s) responsible.

Toast, burnt food and grill pans

When cooking, food should never be left unattended. If called away, the toaster /cooker should be switched off and all food removed from the heat source. It is also important that the toaster/grill is cleaned regularly to stop deposits collecting in or near heating elements. If failure to keep the area clean results in a fire situation you will be responsible for the excess on the insurance policy. 

Additional cooking appliances are not permitted in bedrooms. Any such appliances found will be instructed to be removed. Failure to do so will result in ACE removing the items to store.

Smokers' materials

Smoking - this includes e-cigarettes - is prohibited in all properties managed by ACE.

If Fire Alarms are activated due to residents or their guests smoking on these premises, the resident student(s) will be liable for a fine up to a maximum of £250 under the Code of Student Conduct.

Steam ( including showers, irons & Hair straighteners)

If doors are not closed properly or extraction systems are not used steam from showers and bathrooms can penetrate corridors and activate detectors. Please do not run a bath or shower and leave the door onto the hall open. Care should also be taken to ensure the room is properly ventilated after use.

When using irons and hair straighteners you should avoid doing so beneath the detector heads.

If the alarm is activated by either of these means we will take the following action:

a) On the first occasion your Accommodation Manager / Warden will speak to the student(s) involved to ensure procedures on safety are understood. They will also be issued with a written warning.

b)On the second occasion the Assistant Director- Residence Life, who is a named student discipline officer of the University, will apply a fine up to a maximum of £250 allowed by the Code of Student Conduct against the student(s) responsible.

Detector interference

This is an extremely dangerous practice, which places at risk the life of all occupants in the event of fire. Interferences would include removal of detector, covering detector head, squirting liquid onto detector head, removal of battery. This and any other evidence of interference should be reported to the Accommodation Manager /Warden.

If it is found that a detector has been interfered with in your room, you will be charged the cost of the electrician rectifying the damage and resetting the panel. The student will also be fined up to a maximum of £250 under the Code of Student Conduct.

Students should be aware that most systems do pinpoint where on the system interference has taken place.

If there is interference with a detector head in the communal area of a flat or house ALL residents will be charged with the cost of resetting of the alarm and each resident will be subject to a disciplinary fine unless the responsible party comes forward.

Malicious Use of Fire Alarm System and Extinguishers

This is a criminal offence. Both Police and Fire Brigade can prosecute anyone who maliciously activates a Fire Alarm System whether it is activation of a detector or by breaking glass in an alarm point. Students can also be issued with a Notice to Quit if they are proven to be a danger to others.

Please note that the terms of your lease state that you are responsible for the behaviour of your guests.

If a malicious discharge of an extinguisher occurs the tenants or the culprits will be charged with:

a) The cost of refilling the extinguisher
b) The cost of cleaning up the discharge from the extinguisher

c) The student(s) will be fined up to a maximum of £250.00 under the Code of Student Conduct. 

Disconnection of door closers

Any door fitted with a door closer is a fire door. These doors, when closed, are designed to delay the spread of fire. As such they are a vital part of the fire safety equipment provided in your house / flat. It is essential that door closers are not disconnected. The tenant of any room found to have a disconnected door closer will be fined up to a maximum of £250 under the Code of Student Conduct. They will also be charged for any costs involved in reinstating the door closer.

Use of candles, gas/oil heaters

Candles have been the cause of very serious fires in student accommodation in the past and we would draw student's attention to their contract, which states that you may not store in the property any gas/oil heater or other fuel burning appliance, including candles. Any student(s) contravening this regulation will be fined up to a maximum of £250 under the Code of Student Conduct.

Aerosol use

Smoke detectors are extremely sensitive and will activate where aerosols are discharged in the immediate vicinity of a detector head. Detector heads can also become "glued" by the aerosol spray, which creates difficulty in resetting the alarm system, and may lead to other false alarms. We ask students to act with care to prevent such incidents and use aerosols well away from detector heads.

a) On the first occasion your Accommodation Manager / Warden will speak to the student(s) involved to ensure procedures on safety are understood. They will also be issued with a written warning.

b) On the second occasion the Assistant Director Residence Life, who is a named student discipline officer of the University, will use the Disciplinary Code of the University. They will enforce a fine up to a maximum of £250 allowed under the Code of Student Conduct against the student(s) responsible.

Heaters

Many of our properties are fitted with panel or storage heaters. It is important that air circulates around the heater so that they do not overheat. It is therefore imperative that you do not cover the heaters or put items of furniture up against them. If they overheat they will either:

1. Cut out automatically, this will require an electrician to attend to re-set, you will be charged for this visit. or

2. There is a risk that the heat from the appliance may cause the items covering the heater to go on fire.

If you are not sure what type of heating you have please speak with your Accommodation Manager / Warden who will be able to advise.

Should we be aware of the heaters being covered we will take the following action:

a) On the first occasion your Accommodation Manager / Warden will speak to the students involved to ensure procedures on safety are understood. They will also be issued with a written warning.

b) On the second occasion the Assistant Director Residence Life, who is a named student discipline officer of the University, will use the Disciplinary Code of the University. They will enforce a fine up to a maximum of £250 allowed under the Code of Student Conduct against the student(s) responsible.

IN THE EVENT OF A FIRE ALARM

  • On hearing the fire alarm you MUST evacuate the building immediately.
  • You may not re- enter until the Fire brigade gives you permission to do so.
  • It is a criminal offence to fail to evacuate the building when the alarm sounds.
  • Any student who fails to evacuate when the alarm sounds will be fined up to a maximum of £250 under the Code of Student Conduct.

Further information

Please ensure you read the fire safety notices in your room/flat.