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Student Accommodation Fire Safety

Student fire safety advice

Fire Escape Sign

  • Plan and practice an escape route with your housemates.

  • Fit a smoke alarm on each level of the property.

  • When you have finished a cigarette put it out completely. Make sure all cigarette ends are cold before emptying ash trays.

  • Never smoke in bed.

  • Don’t cook if you’ve been drinking alcohol – especially late at night. One in four injures from house fires started by deep – frying occurs between 10pm and 4am.

  • Ensure all electrical appliances are switched off before going to bed and don’t overload plug sockets.

  • If a fire starts get out, stay out and call 999

Every year, around 350 18-24 year olds are injured in accidental house fires started by cigarettes, smoking materials and candles. More than half of all accidental fire deaths amongst this age group occur in the kitchen when cooking, when handling hot substances or through misuse of electrical equipment.

Increasingly fire sprinklers are being used to protect halls of residence, block of flats and HMOs to improve safety.

  Fire Sprinkler Systems in Student Accomodation [0.2Mb]
BAFSA paper on sprinklers in student accommodation (2013)

If you live in halls of residence

All universities and colleges have a person responsible for fire safety. If you have any concerns or questions about fire safety in halls – for example, you’ve spotted a fire risk – speak to them.   

If you are a disabled student and would need assistance if there was a fire, let the university or college health and safety officer know when you arrive.   

You should also:

  • check what the fire safety rules are – such as any ban on candles in rooms
  • pay attention to fire drills and never ignore alarms


If you live in privately rented accommodation

If you live in a private house or flat, make sure it’s fitted with smoke alarms on each level of the property - and that they are tested regularly.  

Check that your escape route is clear. For example, make sure there are no bikes blocking your exit in the hallway, and be aware of any windows that are barred.

If you’re a student in England, you can request a home fire safety visit from your local Fire and Rescue Service. They may provide and fit a smoke alarm for free.