You may remember in November 2019 seeing news stories following the fire in one of the student accommodation blocks for The University of Bolton, The Cube? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-
As scary as the images from this fire are, what perhaps is more worrying, were the reports from students involved stating that they didn’t react quickly to hearing the fire alarm sound, that they didn’t evacuate straight away due to thinking the alarm was “just a drill” or “a false alarm”, and that because the alarm goes off regularly that they hadn’t originally considered that it could be an emergency, until they heard people screaming.
This is worrying due to the fact that fire has the potential to take and endanger lives, luckily no one died during the Bolton fire, everyone was able to evacuate, or be rescued by the Fire Service.
But on another day, another fire, another building - there could be a very different outcome.
An unsettling thought. Therefore, we want you to be aware of how to act in future if you hear the fire alarm sound.
We understand that repeat and frequent fire alarms sounding in your accommodation are a great annoyance. Unfortunately, they are a part of life living with your fellow students.
We know that you can begin to feel desensitised to the sound of the alarm, that you hear stories about the causes of alarms in accommodation - and that quite often you hear that it was caused by someone’s cooking that burned, or someone smoking indoors, or by someone who took a really long hot shower and left their bathroom door open letting steam activate the alarm. We know these reasons are annoying, but we need you to understand the importance of always evacuating quickly and safely when you hear the fire alarm sound.
You are required to always evacuate in a safe and timely manner. If you delay your evacuation, or choose not to evacuate, in the case of a real fire (and while rare, fires do unfortunately happen) you may become trapped, you may be injured, you may even not survive. If the Fire Service have to rescue you, this can endanger their lives.
You can never be certain of the cause for a fire alarm activation, if you hear the alarm sound for more than 60 seconds at any time, you must evacuate the building, make your way to the designated safe Assembly Point, and then wait to be informed that you can return to the building by University Security staff.
The University has a zero tolerance policy on matters that impair fire safety, particularly malicious and negligent behaviour.
Not evacuating upon hearing a fire alarm activation in any university building is misconduct, and can be considered a criminal offence.
If it is unsafe for you to evacuate due to fire, try to find an alternative evacuation route, or station yourself behind a closed fire door, and call Security to alert them of where you are (0114 222 4444).
For further information please view our Fire Safety film ‘Stay Safe at Uni’ at: www.residencelife.co.uk/stay-