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We were deeply saddened to hear of the fire in student accommodation in Bolton and our love and thoughts are with the students and staff who have been affected.

We are aware that this incident has raised concerns about fire safety for some students, and their families. We can assure our resident students that Plymouth Marjon University fully recognises and upholds our duty of care with respect to fire safety.

The fire safety systems in both the student village and the halls of residence have recently been upgraded to comply with current legislation (BS5839-1:2017 L2/ M). They have L2 fire alarm systems, designed to give an early warning of fire to occupants beyond the room in which the fire starts and to provide early detection in areas of high risk, such as kitchens. In addition, all village and hall alarm panels are radio linked to Campus Support/Security personnel who receive instant notification of an alarm.

Alarm tests in the village and halls are carried out weekly and logged by Marjon staff; these occur in the halls of residence on Wednesdays between 13:00 and 15:00 and in the student village on Thursdays between 13:00 and 15:00. Alarm tests will last no longer than two minutes.

If an alarm in the village or the halls of residence sounds outside published testing periods or for longer than two minutes, evacuate the building by the nearest safe exit and proceed to the signposted muster point. Do not stop to gather belongings. If you are aware that people are still in the building report this to the attending Marjon staff.

NEVER assume that a fire alarm is a test or a false alarm. If in any doubt, evacuate the building.

We advise students who live off-campus that purpose-built student accommodation should be registered with ANUK, the body which operates the national codes for large student developments. Other private rented accommodation should be licenced as a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

The Secretary of State for Education has asked us to write to private accommodation providers in the city regarding fire safety and we are doing that. Marjon Student Union have contacted the private rented accommodation providers most used by Marjon students to discuss the matter too.

Our Accommodation Manager has the following tips for fire prevention in student accommodation:

  • Most kitchen fires start between 10pm and 4am, take care late at night and do not cook when tired or after drinking alcohol; make a cold meal instead.
  • Keep your cooker clean and don’t let fat build up as this is a fire hazard.
  • Never smoke in your accommodation. All Marjon accommodation is non-smoking.
  • Do not burn candles in your accommodation; this is not allowed in Marjon accommodation.
  • Go to Learning Space for more fire prevention tips and for advice on how to use a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket.