Fire safety

This page provides basic fire safety advice for students living in on-campus residences and those living in off-site private rented accommodation.

Further information on living in residences is provided to those students during their halls induction. 

I live in residences on campus and am currently self-isolating. What do I do if the fire alarm activates?

SafeGuarding will respond to all fire alarms on campus as normal.

If the fire alarm goes off and you are able to evacuate the building, please go to your assembly point but stay at a distance of least 2 metres away from anyone else.

If you are unable to evacuate, activate SafeZone or dial 0131 451 3500 using a mobile phone and tell SafeGuarding you are in the building and cannot evacuate.

SafeGuarding Officers will help or advise you on what to do next.

Fire safety in on-campus accommodation 

On moving in you should familiarise yourself with the location of: 

  • The means of raising the alarm via manual call point. 
  • The nearest means of escape – these are indicated with green and white signs. 
  • The location of firefighting equipment. 
  • The assembly point for your building. 

Emergency evacuations – your student induction session will include fire safety information. It is important that you know and understand: 

  • When the fire alarm sounds (continuous siren), you must evacuate immediately.
  • You must not stop to collect belongings. 
  • You must leave the building by the nearest exit calmly and quickly. 
  • Do not wait for others. Go straight to the assembly point.
  • You must not re-enter the building – even if the alarm stops sounding – until you are told it is safe to do so by the SafeGuarding or the fire marshall.

Personal emergency evacuation – if you have a disability that would impede your escape during a fire evacuation, you may need a personal care plan to support you. Please contact Student Support to arrange this.

Halls of residence do’s and don’ts – the University will not tolerate any interference or misuse of fire safety equipment and will take disciplinary action if necessary.

  • Never tamper with smoke or heat detectors; they are there to detect fire and smoke at an early stage. 
  • Keep fire doors in bedrooms, lounges, corridors and kitchens shut - they are there to keep fire in a small compartment and allow you to escape safely. 
  • Do not tamper with fire extinguishers; they are there to extinguish a fire in its early stages. 
  • Most fires start in kitchens particularly when cooking. Keep flammable items away from the cooker. 
  • Never leave cooking unattended. This is very important, as unattended cooking is the cause of most fires and fire alarm activations. 
  • You must ensure that any electrical equipment is in good safe working order. 
  • Do not overload electrical power sources. 
  • Bicycles must be kept in an approved cycle area. 
  • No setting fires.

Banned items – to ensure safety there are a number of items that you are not allowed to have in your accommodation. These include pets and livestock, explosives, firearms or weapons of any kind, woks, saucepans, heaters, grills and toasters, clip on desk lights, candles and incense sticks or any other open flame device, socket cube adaptors, inside BBQ trays, additional fridges, irons, decorative lights, slow cookers (rice cookers may be allowed in kitchens with the permission of the housekeeper) or extra microwaves, additional or extra furniture.

Fire safety in private rented accommodation (off campus) 

Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) – if there are three or more tenants in a property then the landlord is required to have an HMO licence. This means that the property meets a certain level of safety in order to be granted this licence. You should request to see this document if there are three or more tenants.

Gas safety – all gas appliances (boiler/heating/fireplace/hob) must be checked by a Gas Safe registered Engineer annually. You should request a copy of the most recent certificate. 
You should also cooperate with your landlord to allow the annual testing and any servicing to be completed, always check the ID card of the engineer to ensure he is meant to be there and Gas Safe registered.

Electrical safety – all electrical appliances must carry the British Safety Standard Sign and be checked regularly to ensure it is operating safely. You should request certification of the electrical appliances provided.
You must ensure that any electrical appliances you use are free from damage; if in doubt do not plug it in. Do not overload sockets; if you need to use extension leads, use ones with a surge protector and ensure the amperage of the devices do not exceed 13A.
Use a proper adaptor when using a non-UK electrical appliance. Never put two prong plugs into three-prong sockets.
Don’t fix faulty electrics yourself. Inform your landlord or call a qualified electrician.

Furnishings – any furnishings provided must be fire resistant and meet safety regulations, mattresses and sofas must have a label attached providing this information.

Candles and cigarettes – check your tenancy agreement regarding the use of candles or smoking in your accommodation. If permitted Avoid placing them on or near materials that could burn or catch fire – like curtains and ensure you have completely extinguished them when you have finished using them.

Alarms – smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be tested by the landlord on the first day of the tenancy, then you are responsible for checking that they work monthly.

Escape Route – Plan how you would evacuate the property if required. Keep these routes and communal areas clear. Keep doors closed where possible to prevent the spread of smoke/fire.