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Fire Safety

Being aware of fire safety advice is extremely important.

Please watch this short video of fire safety guidance during your time at Durham.

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The following bullet points summarise fire safety guidance here at Durham:

  • Every University building incorporates fire safety measures
  • Every College has a fire alarm system, including smoke and heat detectors, and red break glass call points
  • It is a criminal offence to tamper with alarm systems. Covering smoke detectors may put you at risk if a fire breaks out
  • Don't smoke or vape inside
  • Don't wedge fire doors open. They are there to protect escape routes by holding fire back
  • Don't set off the fire alarm unless there is a fire. You could prevent the Fire Service from attending an actual fire or an accident
  • Take care not to set off fire alarms by mistake, e.g. when you are cooking. Don't leave anything unattended on the hob, and don't cook while drunk - get a takeaway! Steam from showers and aerosol sprays can also set off smoke detectors, so open a window and don't spray anything underneath the detector
  • International adaptors and block adaptors are banned from the University
  • Don't leave your laptop on the bed because it may overheat
  • Do use a heatproof mat for appliances such as hair straighteners and make sure they're off and cooled down before you leave the room
  • Cheap chargers can start a fire so only use 'official' safety-tested chargers
  • Candles are prohibited in any University building. LED ones are available
  • Familiarise yourself with the location of your nearest fire exits as you may not be able to leave by the usual route in the event of a fire

For more fire safety advice, contact Allen Armstrong (Senior Fire Safety Engineer) at

If you're living out, you can request a free Safe and Wellbeing Visit from the Fire Service.

Find out more about Safety in the Home and Community.