Health and safety
It is important to us that you feel safe at all times during your stay with us. Please take time to read this section!
Whist using College premises, you must take reasonable care for your own and others' safety by adopting safe working practices and making proper use of the safety facilities provided.
You are required to comply with College Health and Safety Policies, codes of practice (such as the Student Accommodation code ) which will cover Health and Safety standards and procedures in halls of residence, and local Hall Rules.
Health and Safety in halls of residence
We take electrical safety very seriously. All College owned portable appliances are tested annually and all wiring is tested every five years. You must not interfere with any electrical installation equipment or fitting provided by the College.
The electricity supply in the UK is 240 volts a.c. at a frequency of 50Hz. Electrical sockets in the UK are the 13 amp rectangular pin type and the plugs fitted to portable appliances are generally supplied with a 13 amp fuse. The fuse should be selected to suit the load of the equipment being used. All personal electrical equipment including plugs and adaptors must conform to the appropriate British standard with a CE mark. Shuko plugs are not permitted.
If you are in any doubt regarding your electrical equipment, you should speak to your Hall Supervisor.
The number of sockets in your room/kitchen should be adequate. Do not overload your electrical sockets as this can be very dangerous and result in a fire. Multi-plug adaptors must not be used. If an extension socket is used, it must be safe (preferably with 'surge protection') and it must not cause a trip hazard to you or any member of staff entering your room.
You may bring some electrical equipment in to halls but you must ensure that it is working correctly so that it does not present a hazard or a risk. If you have any items that are not compatible with UK voltage (240V) you must buy a voltage adaptor or a converter. All items (including adaptors/converters) must conform to the appropriate British standard, display the CE mark and be fitted with a correctly wired and fused plug. Failing to do this can trip the fuses serving your room/kitchen, resulting in the loss of power supply to you and your neighbours.
Electrical equipment should be switched off after use and unplugged whenever you leave the room.
The College reserves the right to remove, destroy or disable any equipment which it deems unsafe. Where practical this will be discussed with you before any action is taken.
Fire is the main hazard in residential accommodation. It can cause death or severe injury and damage to property, but sensible precautions will reduce the likelihood of fires starting and will protect against its consequences. Most people underestimate the speed at which a fire or smoke spreads in a building. For your own safety please always follow the rules.
- Read important fire safety notices
- Do not tamper with, obstruct or remove any notice or equipment provided for fire safety
- Make yourself familiar with the emergency escape routes from your room, floor, common room etc.
- Do not obstruct fire routes or doors
- Keep fire doors closed
- If you think you may have any difficulties in hearing the alarm or evacuating a building unaided in the event of an emergency due to a mobility or sensory impairment, a temporary injury (e.g. you may be on crutches) or have difficulty coping in crowds, you will require a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) and this can be arranged via your Warden. For more information please see www.imperial.ac.uk/facilitiesmanagement/firesafety/personal-emergency-evacuation-plans
Please remember that, however inconvenient self-closing fire doors and all other fire precautions may appear, these are measures that ensure your escape route is protected from flames, heat and smoke in the event of a fire. Student Halls are covered by a Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order which requires the building to be regularly inspected and for fire risk assessments to be carried out. To ensure that these standards are maintained, the fire service can cause offenders to be prosecuted. The maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of up to £5,000 and/or two years in jail. Offences include propping or wedging open fire doors, unauthorised use of fire extinguishers, tampering with detectors and obstructing fire escape routes and exits.
In addition, it is common for the fire service to charge for attending false alarms and this cost will be passed on to the student(s) concerned.
The majority of false alarms are caused by:
- Carelessness - burning food - please think!
- Curiosity - tampering with the system - don't!
- High spirits - water pistols and smoke detectors don't mix - think!
Living with fire alarms
- If you burn food in a kitchen open the window. Do not open the door as this will let smoke into the corridor and set off a fire alarm
- Deep fat frying is banned in halls
- Do not cook in your room (not even with an electric sandwich toaster)
- Smoking is prohibited in all halls of residence. Do not smoke any type of drug. It is illegal and will set off a fire alarm
- The burning of any substance and/or use of a naked flame represents a fire hazard and is not permitted. The use of barbecues, candles, incense, oil burners, hookah pipes is strictly forbidden.
- Avoid using deodorants immediately beneath a detector
- If you have an en-suite bathroom, please close the door when showering
- Do not burn alcohol or deodorant in your room
- Do not try to disconnect smoke detectors from their bases
- Do not cover smoke detectors and do not spray water near, or into, smoke detectors
- When electric heaters are used for the first time after a long break, the dust on the element ionises and will set off a fire alarm. Please open a window for about 10 minutes while the dust burns away
- Remember: if your practical joke sets off a fire alarm, it means that everyone has to vacate the building - you will not be popular.
- Never leave cooking pans, toasters, kettles etc. unattended as this is one of the major causes of fire alarms - Cookers, stoves and appliances should be switched off when you have finished cooking. Chip pans and other deep frying utensils must not be used.
- Follow the appliance instructions which are available in your kitchen or Hall
- Clean up any spillages at the time to prevent any slip hazards
- Help to reduce the risk of unwanted pests – clean up after yourself and use the bins provided for any waste
Although you are living in a hall of residence, you are free to come and go as you please but for your own safety and protection, please let someone know when you are going away overnight or for a longer period. This can be your hall warden, staff or a friend. Should you become concerned about the absence of a neighbour, please let the Student Hub and the hall warden know as soon as possible.
In order to comply with Health and Safety regulations and to improve security, all windows have been fitted with window restrictors. Please close windows when you’re not occupying your room, particularly if you live in a ground floor room.
Regular inspections will be conducted and if any window restrictors are found to have been damaged or tampered with, repair charges will be brought against the individual (or individuals) involved.