Just one per cent of fire alarms are real

Over 99 per cent of recorded fire alarms in university accommodation in the current academic year were false alarms, according to information released to Exeposé under a Freedom of Information request.

According to University statistics, there have been 139 recorded instances of fire alarms being set off between 1 September 2014 and 31 March 2015. Of these incidents, 138 were false alarms, whilst only one incident was recorded as a fire.

Of the 138 reported false alarms, 52 were cooking-related, whilst 27 resulted from steam from showers. Five incidents were recorded as being caused by “malicious activities”.

The Freedom of Information request, sent on 4 April, also revealed that fire services have been called to university accommodation eight times during the current academic year.

In line with University policy, campus services were also called out to deal with all 139 recorded incidents.

Speaking about the information, Director of Campus Services, Phil Atwell said: “The University’s Fire Investigation Procedure ensures that, so far as is reasonably practical, Estate Patrol will attend any reports of fires in the first instance. This means that the fire brigade are not called in the event of a false alarm, as indicated in the figures.”

In January 2015, the Express & Echo reported that paramedics treated a woman for smoke inhalation after afire started in a microwave at a university residence. It is unknown if this is the incident to which the FOI response refers.

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