Excel’s Guide to Fire Safety in Student Accommodation

Ah, students. Their lifestyle might be the envy of some but, the truth is, that alone poses some interesting challenges for landlords of the places they live. The same fire safety measures apply whether we’re talking about halls of residence or a private home which has been let out to university-goers; have you considered the risks from all angles?

Fire safety in student accommodation: lifestyle factors

A study conducted by charity Electrical Safety First brought to light some interesting stats about uni students in England and Wales, particularly around some less than ideal habits they possess; for instance, 15% of those interviewed admitted to having fallen asleep with food cooking at some point, whilst 56% admitted that they’ve cooked food while under the influence of alcohol.

Whilst it might sound somewhat comical, the fire risks are numerous, vast, and far reaching. Students, you’ve got to love them – but, whilst we can’t necessarily control their habits, what we can do is ensure the housing they’re living within, whether private or onsite, is compliant and has their best interests at heart.

Fire safety in student accommodation: your responsibilities

As the landlord of student accommodation or housing, your job begins with ensuring there’s a fire alarm on every floor – and then checking them with every new tenancy. You also need to understand whether your property requires carbon monoxide alarms, and if so have them inspected regularly to ensure they’re in full working order. Smoke alarms need to be regularly inspected also, and you should encourage tenants to replace the batteries and test them often; provide a fact-sheet or safety checklist which they can keep handy to remind them if need be.

Make sure you invest in fire-fighting equipment and make it easily accessible to all tenants, whether in the home or in communal areas, such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets; this means that in the event of a fire, students at least have a means to doing what they can to hopefully prevent a bigger incident. Some stoves can even be fitted with an automatic shut off device, and they should always be electric rather than running on gas – it’s an investment now which could save money, not to mention lives, in future.

Further to all of this, compartmentation is important (making sure each unit can contain a fire for a certain amount of time), as is checking the integrity of your fire doors in communal areas. These things can make a huge difference in controlling the spread of fire – just make sure you keep hold of any documentation to prove the work has been done.

Student accommodation fire safety services from Excel Fire

It’s absolutely vital to make sure that young people are protected from fire in the place that they call home; university should be a fun, uplifting experience for them, so we’re proud to help landlords and Site Managers ensure that it’s a safe one, too.

From full fire risk assessments to fire door inspections, passive fire protection and fire-stopping services, we’re adept in creating a fire safety plan which works around your property. Get in touch to learn more about fire safety in student accommodation, how we do what we do, the qualifications we hold to back it all up, and more.