Fire Safety In Student Accommodation: Everything You Need To Know
Posted: 05/02/2024
5 minute read
Fire safety in student accommodation


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Fire Safety In Student Accommodation: Everything You Need To Know

With such a mix of young people, many of them living away from home for the first time, fire safety should be the highest priority within student accommodation. 

Shared kitchen use and lots of electrical items are just two common ways a fire could start in student living spaces, which is why this month at Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we’re going to take a closer look at the subject. We’ll be covering tips for students and some key information for landlords of student accommodation, ensuring everyone knows their responsibilities and helping to keep people safe.

Fire safety in student accommodation

Fire safety tips for students

If you’re a student, whether it’s your first year or your last, we’ve got some essential fire safety tips for you to keep in mind at all times:

Candles and smoking 

Make sure you never have open flames around flammable surfaces and materials, and be sure to never leave them unattended when you go out.

Kitchens and cooking

Never get distracted whilst cooking and don’t cook if you have been drinking alcohol. Always keep your eye on any appliances you’re using, turning them off once finished. You should also take extra care when using oils or frying foods as these can catch alight easily.

Rules and fire exits

Upon first moving into new accommodation, take time to familiarise yourself with fire safety rules and learn where your nearest exits are to prepare you for an emergency.

Electricals and heaters

Never overload plug sockets and be sure not to twist cables, as this can result in sparks or overheating. You should also unplug any items when not in use, especially hair dryers, straighteners and charging devices. Secure any electrical heating items, keeping them away from flammable textiles like curtains or clothes.

Testing and drills

Test your smoke alarms regularly and don’t ignore any low-battery warnings. If your alarm won’t stop beeping and you’ve changed the batteries, contact your landlord to get their assistance. Also, pay attention to fire alarms, ensuring you follow the right course of action even if it’s a drill.

Who is responsible for fire safety in student accommodation?

Who is responsible for fire safety in student accommodation

The landlord of any student accommodation is responsible for fire safety. It is required by law – the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) – that they act as the ‘responsible person’. 

This requires them to put in the right level of fire safety measures, including but not limited to fire alarms and their testing, fire safety equipment, fire doors and even the arrangement of a fire risk assessment to assess hazards and the level of risk in the accommodation.

However, students themselves can play their part in maintaining safe accommodation. Firstly by observing key rules about kitchen usage and smoking areas, but also by keeping premises clean, tidy and free from obstructions. This is in addition to the tips we’ve provided above!

Fire safety regulations in student accommodation

As mentioned above, the RRFSO is the key regulation that demands landlords and building owners ensure proper fire safety measures are adhered to. The more recent Fire Safety Act 2021 also now covers legislation for multi-occupancy buildings, while PAS 79:2020 is an updated set of standards from the British Standard Institution relating to fire safety for different buildings.

What type of fire alarm system is needed in student accommodation?

What type of fire alarm system is needed in student accommodation?

Interlinked fire safety alarms are required for student accommodation, ensuring all areas of the building are alerted to a potential fire straight away. Different buildings and their layouts will dictate what type of alarm system is needed and where sounders are specifically placed.

If you’re a landlord or own student accommodation property and would like help getting the right fire alarm system to remain compliant with the law, then speak to our dedicated team.

How often should fire alarms be tested in student accommodation?

Many universities will conduct weekly testing of fire alarm systems. This is something any owner of student accommodation should be carrying out, checking that the system is in full working order. 

A professional inspection and servicing appointment for your fire alarm system should also be carried out at least once every six months in line with British Standards.

Surrey Tech Services provide electrical fit out and fire safety services for student accommodation

Here at Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we’re experts when it comes to fire alarm systems for student accommodation, helping landlords stay on the right side of the law and protecting students. We also offer other crucial services for student buildings, including emergency lighting and electrical installations, giving you a fire safety and electrical contractor you can count on to provide for all your needs. 

We’ve been helping local authorities, building managers and businesses across London and the Home Counties – including Maidenhead, Guildford and Slough – for many years, so you don’t have to shop around when it comes to these essential services. 

Give our team a call today and let us help you manage the safety of your student accommodation.

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    Call us now on 08081 689 497 to find out more about our fire alarm design, installation and maintenance services.