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Safety and security

Everybody on campus is responsible for maintaining a safe and secure environment. This takes many forms - from ensuring access is clear from hazards, noticing and reporting faults, complying with fire safety guidance and taking care around day-to-day activities such as cooking in a communal environment. You need to be mindful of others in and around the residences - not just students but the staff and visitors to the halls too.

Personal safety

The campus is a really safe place and enjoys low crime levels; however, there are a few simple precautions you should take. Personal safety guidelines can be found on the Wellbeing and Student Support website.

  • When walking to and from the residences, do not take short cuts through unlit areas. After dark, students or staff who are travelling alone on campus can call the Community Safety Team Hub on 024 7652 2083 who will assist in ensuring that they arrive safely at their destination.
  • Please be aware of any valuables you may be carrying and put phones and expensive items out of sight when walking around campus or in the local area.

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Security in residences

  • Remember to lock your room and close your window when you leave. Even if you are only popping to the kitchen. Think of your study bedroom door as the front door to your house.
  • Keep the entrance door of the hall locked at all times. Do not open it for anyone you do not know or allow strangers to follow you into the block.
  • Try not to lose your key fob or key. If you do lose it, report the loss to the Student Information Centre reception desk in Senate House immediately. You will need proof of identity to obtain a replacement. If you have a conventional key lock rather than a key fob, you may have to pay for a replacement lock unless a crime report number is provided.
  • Report any strangers in your block to the Community Safety Team or a member of the Residential Community Team. The University does its best to discourage salesmen and flyer distributors to keep them off campus.

The Campus Cleaning Services Team and members of the Residential Community Team are instructed to lock your room in your absence, even if the room was open when they entered, so keep your key with you at all times.

The Residential Community Team have access to storage areas and rooms in cases of emergencies. Duplicate and master keys are held at the Student Information Centre reception desk in Senate House during working hours or with the Community Safety Team out-of-hours.

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Laptops and other valuables

Money and valuables should never be left unattended in public areas.

Always keep your room locked when you are not in it and close and secure the window to prevent opportunist crime.

If you leave your room insecure, loss or damage to University property in it will be charged to you. If you have a laptop or other expensive, easily portable equipment, make sure it is kept secure.

Never leave your laptop or valuables visible through a window, be sure to put them away out of site in your room. Should your laptop or any items be stolen, the possibility of recovery will be increased if they are visibly and indelibly marked with your home postcode.

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Overnight absence

If you intend to be away for one night or more, please inform the Residential Community Team for your area and leave a phone number where you can be contacted in case of an emergency. It is important to cooperate with this as emergencies (i.e. fire, family problems etc.) do occur and it becomes essential that the Residential Community Team can either relay a message to you or account for your absence.

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Road safety

Pedestrian safety
  • Please concentrate whilst you are crossing the road, and give traffic your full attention. Do not use your mobile phone when crossing, remove headphones and turn off music devices.
  • Always use designated crossings where one is available. At a crossing with traffic lights, press the button, wait for the traffic to stop and the signal to appear (a green man) before crossing.
  • When crossing the road, always look both ways, ensuring the road is clear and safe to cross before proceeding.
  • if you are unfamiliar with road layouts here in the UK then please take extra care and ensure you look right first since traffic will be on the left hand side of the road.
  • Do not run across the road.
  • Roads on campus should be approached in the same way as general highways.
  • be aware that there are a number of areas on campus which are designated as shared spaces. This means that pedestrians, cyclists, scooter users and cars may mix. Don't take risks in these areas and pay attention to safety.
Cyclist safety
  • Wear a cycle helmet and bright, fluorescent clothing.
  • Use white front and red rear lights whilst riding on the road at night.
  • Cycle on the left hand side of the road.
  • Use cycle paths/routes where available.
  • Give way to traffic from the right on roundabouts.
  • Do not wear dark clothing.
  • Do not talk on your mobile phone whilst riding and remove headphones.
  • Do not cycle on the pavement.
  • Do not ride whilst under the influence of alcohol. It is against the law.
  • Observe safety signage and dismount from your bicycle when instructed to do so.
Motorist safety
  • Do not drive whilst under the influence of alcohol. It is against the law.
  • Please be aware of areas where there is likely to be increased pedestrians, such as schools, business parks, shopping areas, roads with pedestrian crossings.
  • Familiarise yourself with your route, leaving enough time for your journey, to enable you to arrive at your destination safely.
  • Always adhere to road speed limits particularly in areas you are not familiar with.
  • The speed limit on campus is 20mph and 5mph in the residential areas.
  • Do not use your mobile phone whilst driving. It is against the law.

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Community Safety Team

The Community Safety Team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide a safe and secure environment for the campus community.

All members of the Community Safety Team are trained first aiders and there is always someone available to provide assistance. You should contact Community Safety, not the Health Centre, if you or someone else needs first aid treatment. If you do call for first aid assistance, you should, for health and safety reasons, declare any pre-existing medical conditions or disability to the Community Safety Team, which will be treated in complete confidence. The Community Safety Team Hub is located on the junction of Lord Bhattacharyya Way and Gibbet Hill Road.

  • Non emergency contact number: 024 7652 2083
  • Emergency contact number: 024 7652 2222

Please save these numbers to your mobile phone.

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Health and safety

Details of the University's Health and Safety Policy can be found on the Health and Safety website. It is everyone's responsibility to keep each other safe and to make the campus a safe environment. We all have a responsibility for the health, safety and wellbeing of all.

It is important that you report any accidents or near misses in residences. The University has an online health and safety system where you can report an accident in halls. You may wish to raise the incident too with either your local Campus Cleaning Services Manager, Student Information Centre (reception in Senate House), the Community Safety Team or your local Residential Community Team.

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Snow and ice clearance

During the winter months the weather may be cold enough to cause ice or snow on campus. This may affect the access to buildings and the paths to and from residences. The University has a snow and ice clearance procedure which shows which routes will be cleared or gritted and the order of priority. Please be aware there is no guarantee that routes will be snow or ice free - depending on the severity of the weather and the priorities. Please take additional care when travelling across campus and report any areas which are a particular hazard to the Community Safety Team 024 7652 2083.

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Infectious and contagious diseases

Notice shall be given to the Residential Community Co-ordinator of any resident or visitor who is suffering from an infectious or contagious disease in order that the risk to the health and safety of other residents may be assessed by the University.

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For the safety of all, any potential hazard that you identify should be reported immediately to the Campus Cleaning Services Team, Student Information Centre (reception in Senate House) or to a member of the Residential Community Team.

The University recognises that given the range of ages of its premises, there are locations where asbestos containing materials will be present. Any materials containing asbestos are resealed and are in a safe condition and the University has an obligation to ensure that they remain so.

The University Asbestos Management Policy provides the core principles for achieving this. Students are reminded that they should report any kind of damage to their room or other areas of the residence. The University will ensure that appropriate measures are taken to rectify the damage promptly.

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Fire safety

Fire alarms

Each hall of residence has a variety of fire protection measures including an automatic fire detection and alarm system comprised of heat and smoke detectors, break glass call points to raise the alarm and sounders. The fire detection and alarm system and other fire protection measures are installed to protect you, your fellow residents, and your property. Should the fire alarm be activated, then the alarm sounds throughout the block. You must respond to this by evacuating the building immediately. Community Safety will receive an automatic notification of the activation and they will then investigate the cause of the alarm and take appropriate action to ensure the building is safe and reset the alarm before allowing it to be reoccupied. For the safety of all, it is essential that you cooperate with Community Safety, the Residential Community Team, other University colleagues, and the responding Emergency Service who may be involved in the response to an incident or drill.

Please follow the guidance within the rest of this page to ensure you minimise the likelihood of a fire and false alarms occurring. It is a disciplinary offence not to vacate a building when the fire alarm sounds. Anyone setting off a fire alarm deliberately or who tampers with smoke detectors or other fire safety equipment will be fined, may be required to leave the residences and could face criminal proceedings.

Fire action

The course of action to be taken in the event of fire or a fire alarm is set out below and posted within individual rooms and kitchens. Please make certain that you are familiar with the advice given. Familiarise yourself with the locations of fire detectors and red break glass points within your block and inform yourself of the alternative means of escape in the event of a fire. If you discover a fire:

  • Raise the alarm by shouting fire.
  • Leave the building immediately, closing any room doors behind you.
  • Activate a red break glass if you pass one as you leave.
  • Move away from the building to a place of safety.
  • Report the fire and its location to the Community Safety Team Hub on 024 7652 2222.
  • Stay in a place of safety, keeping socially distant from others who are not in your kitchen group and wait for the attending Community Safety Officers and inform them that you discovered the fire and of any related concerns.
  • Unless instructed otherwise by the attending Community Safety Officers, proceed to the designated assembly point.
  • You must not return to the building until instructed to do so by a Community Safety Officer.

Do not use water to extinguish fires in a kitchen.

Please note:

Dialling 999/112 on a mobile or external phone bypasses the Community Safety Team and may lead to delay in the arrival of emergency services. Please key this emergency number into your phone: 024 7652 2222.

If you hear the fire alarm sounding:

  • Leave the building immediately, closing the door of your room behind you.
  • Move away from the building to a place of safety and if you have any concerns report them to the attending Community Safety Officers.
  • Unless instructed otherwise by the attending Community Safety Officers, proceed to the designated assembly point.
  • You must not return to the building until instructed to do so by a Community Safety Officer.
  • In the unlikely event that the exit is blocked, or you encounter thick smoke: Do not panic but return to your room and close the door then open the bedroom window and attract someone's attention. If fumes begin to enter, place wet cloths around the cracks (if you have a sink in your room) and remember that air is fresher closer to the floor. Remain calm at all times.
Emergency escape from buildings for students with a disability

The University has procedures and supporting guidance for students, members of staff, tenants, and visitors, who because of a permanent or temporary disability may require assistance to leave a University building, whether residential or academic. The procedures and guidance can be accessed on the Health and Safety website. Please use the Independence Assessment Tool to identify the specific guidance which is available for a range of disabilities. You can apply the guidance across the campus. The University encourages anyone with a disability to declare it at the earliest possible opportunity to the University's Disability Services Team. This is to ensure that you can realise the highest level of independence and take advantage of the network of support available from within your department and centrally. If you have chosen not to declare a disability which may affect your ability to evacuate, then all of the above is available to you without having to make a disclosure. We strongly advise you access the procedures and guidance, so that you are aware of how to respond to an emergency. This does not result in a disclosure. If you have sustained an injury or illness, which has resulted in temporary mobility impairment, then you are strongly advised to use the Independence Assessment Tool.

General guidance

The Independence Assessment Tool will highlight specific guidance you should follow, but as a minimum please familiarise yourself with the following general guidance:

  • Store the University's emergency number in your mobile phone 024 7652 2222
  • Always be prepared to move away from immediate danger - for example visible smoke and flames
  • If you think that the speed at which you are able to leave the building may have the potential to cause you injury, as other people pass you more quickly in corridors and on stairways, or that you do not want to feel pressured to move more quickly, then give consideration to waiting until those moving at a quicker speed have passed before continuing your evacuation
  • Make your first objective to get a fire door between you and the incident
  • If on the ground floor of a building evacuate using the nearest available exit. There is no need to use refuges on the ground floor of any of the University's buildings
  • When on the upper floors of a building, move into a stairwell enclosure remote from the incident or horizontally into an adjoining building where the fire alarm isn't sounding
  • You will only be evacuated if it is judged to be necessary by the Community Safety Team, in consultation with the Fire and Rescue Service
Fire drills

Fire drills are a legal requirement and part of the University's fire safety measures. The University will carry out one fire drill at the start of term. A fire drill is normally held for each individual residence in the autumn term without prior warning. The objectives of the fire drill are:

  • To demonstrate that you understand how to leave the building in a prompt and orderly fashion, thus avoiding the possibility of panic in an emergency
  • To ensure awareness of the relevant assembly points in the event of a fire
Minimising the risk of fire
  • All forms of smoking are banned in the University's residences. This also includes the use of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers
  • Do not cover lamps and ceiling lights as enclosing them may lead to a significant build up of heat which may lead to a fire
  • Candles, oil burners, joss sticks, incense, flammable liquids and gases, nitrous oxide canisters, etc. are fire hazards and must not be used or stored in residences
  • Household heating appliances, cooking and other domestic appliances such as microwaves, toasters, kettles, beverage makers, fridges and freezers may constitute fire hazards and as such are not allowed in study bedrooms without prior approval of the Residential Community Team
  • Fire doors must not be wedged open
  • Fireworks and other similar pyrotechnic items are not permitted to be used or stored within University residences or on University grounds.
Kitchens and cooking

Fires are most common in kitchens and are almost always caused by carelessness and/or inappropriate behaviour.

  • Familiarise yourself with correct cooking procedures, especially when frying food
  • Always use the correct utensils and do not leave food cooking on hot plates or under grills unattended
  • Switch off the cooker, hob and cooker hood (extractor fan) after use
  • Doors should be kept shut during cooking to avoid setting off the fire alarm accidentally
  • The use of personal electrical grooming appliances, such as hair straighteners are allowed in kitchens and other areas. However, it will be the responsibility of the student to ensure that they are maintained in good repair, do not present a risk of harm to others and/or compromise fire safety
  • The University of Warwick reserves the right to remove any appliances that do not meet national safety standards
  • All incidents of fire must be reported to the nearest member of the Residential Community Team, the Community Safety Team or Student Information Centre (reception in Senate House)
Preventing false alarms

The number of false alarms can be limited by following some simple guidelines:

  • Keep the kitchen door closed when cooking
  • Do not touch any of the ceiling mounted fire alarm detectors or sounders. Remember: removing a device from its housing will activate the alarm
  • When using the shower ensure the ventilation fan is running. Keep the bathroom door closed as steam may activate the fire alarm and remember to turn off the fan when finished
  • Report immediately all ventilation fans that are not working
  • Be aware that steam from a steam iron may set off fire detectors
  • Ensure extractor fans are running when cooking in the kitchen and turn them off when done
  • Do not leave food cooking unattended, e.g. toast
  • Be aware that large amounts of deodorant spray or aerosol spray near a detector can activate the alarm

Remember: the fire alarm system is there to protect you!

By following the above guidelines the number of false alarms will be reduced (this means less inconvenience to yourself and other building users). Additionally, the demand on the resources of Community Safety and the Fire and Rescue Service will also decrease, which could prove vital in the event of a genuine fire alarm.

Carbon monoxide detectors

If your residence has a gas cooker or gas boiler, it will also have a carbon monoxide detector. The carbon monoxide detectors look similar to a domestic type smoke alarm. If triggered, the alarm sounds locally only (not across the whole building like the fire alarm). If the alarm activates:

  • Switch off the gas cooker immediately (the boiler will be isolated by the responding Building Services Technicians)
  • Ventilate the kitchen immediately by opening the windows and/or turning on the extractor hood and leave the room closing the door behind you
  • Report the activation immediately to the Campus Cleaning Services Manager, Student Information Centre (reception in Senate House) or to the Community Safety Team if the alarm has been activated out-of-hours

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Electrical safety

All high wattage electrical appliances (i.e. those which are rated at 1000 Watts or higher) present additional risks, such as overheating, and must not be left unattended without being switched off and unplugged first. This would include hair care appliances.

Some high wattage appliances are classed as heavy duty appliances, and such appliances are not suitable for use in student study bedrooms under any circumstances. Microwaves, kettles, toasters, sandwich makers, rice cookers, electric fires, heaters, tumble driers, infrared lamps, amplifiers, high powered IT equipment and other similar appliances, are not permitted in student study bedrooms.

It is the responsibility of all students to ensure that all appliances are safe and free from damage or defects. Students are expected to visually inspect their appliances to ensure that:

  • There are no signs of damage, burning, overheating or water damage to the plug
  • A correctly rated fuse is fitted (3, 5, 10 or 13 Amp as per the manufacturer's instructions)
  • The cord grip on the plug is holding the outer part (sheath) of the cable tightly and no bare wire is visible
  • There are no signs of damage, burning, chafing or splits on any leads
  • There are no signs of damage or misuse on the appliance itself
  • The appliance works correctly

All electrical adapters and extension leads must be compliant with European requirements for electrical equipment, which means that they should be CE marked (conformite europeenne), and must be suitable for use in the UK. They must also be in good condition and show no signs of damage.

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Do not use unfused plugs or unfused adapters. Do not overload electrical sockets.

Wiring more than one appliance into one plug is prohibited as being extremely dangerous. Overloading trips a master circuit breaker and blacks out not only your own room but also several others. If a power failure is caused by overloading, you may be charged for the repair.

Do not leave unattended electrical equipment switched on. Disconnect equipment when not in use. Do not run cables under rugs or carpets and do not put combustible materials on or near electrical equipment. Extension leads to the power sockets in the corridors are forbidden. Switch off and disconnect faulty equipment immediately.

If you have any concerns about the safety of electrical equipment it must be reported immediately to the Campus Cleaning Services Manager (based in your local Residences Hub), Student Services (reception in Senate House), out-of-hours to Community Safety or to a member of the Residential Community Team.

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Gas safety

Some of the residences have gas appliances in the kitchens. You can obtain a copy of the Gas Safety Check Record from your local Residential Hub.

If you have any concerns about the safety of gas equipment it must be reported immediately to the Campus Cleaning Services Manager (based in your local Residences Hub), Student Services (reception in Senate House), out-of-hours to Community Safety or to a member of the Residential Community Team.

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Emergency information

What if you find someone unconscious after a night out? This is serious, they may have alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning is the result of drinking dangerous amounts of alcohol. It can be deadly and those who survive can be left with irreversible brain damage.

Sleeping it off is not a cure.

Please don't hesitate, get help immediately, you could save a life. Read on...

If you find someone unconscious make sure you put them in the recovery position.

This position helps to stop them from choking on their own vomit and could be the difference between life and death.

  • Place casualty on their back
  • Place the arm closest to you above their head in an L shape
  • Place the other arm across their body and under their chin
  • Holding the arms in position, take the leg furthest away from you, bend it, and gently pull the person towards you placing them on their side
  • Raise the chin to make sure their breathing is not restricted
  • Check the casualty cannot roll forwards or backwards
  • If they vomit, try to keep them sitting up. Lie them in the recovery position if they must lie down and get help immediately if they begin to choke

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Online and social media

And finally...

If you know they have taken something else, tell the paramedic. You could be saving their life.

Emergency contact numbers
On campus emergencies
(including police, fire, ambulance)
024 7652 2222
On campus Community Safety
(for general enquiries and first aid)
024 7652 2083
NHS Advice (111)
Emergency services 999 (024 7652 2222 if on campus)
Coventry NHS Walk-in Centre
Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry CV1 4FS
(Open 08:00-22:00 Monday-Sunday)
0300 200 0060

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