Plenty of false alarm fires at student village

The Linc has learnt that since September 15th there have been 38 call-outs to Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue from the Student Village. Only three of these were due to genuine fires, whilst the other 35 were all false alarms.

Each call-out costs the taxpayer £430 per hour for every fully-crewed fire engine that attends the scene. The University student accommodation is linked to Lincoln’s fire station, so when the alarm is raised Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue service are quick to respond.

There is a danger that by responding to so many false-calls, those who need real assistance could be denied all of the staff and equipment that they need.

A spokesperson for the University said: “The majority of what may be perceived as false alarms, that is, where the fire service responds to an alarm but there may not be a fire, are not caused maliciously but are related to the fact that smoke detectors are in all of the study bedrooms.”

“This means that they can be set off by students using sprays in their rooms and sometimes by the steam from showers. All students who stay in the Halls of Residence are issued with an information booklet which includes fire safety procedures, how the alarm system works and how to prevent false alarms. This is reinforced with a meeting for all the residents at the start of the academic year which is attended by a local fire officer.”

The University also emphasised that things were improving as “the number of false alarms has decreased over the last four years”. They also highlighted that student welfare is their top priority: “we always want students to feel they can call for help if they need it and would not want to take any action which might put their safety at risk.”

In other fire news, three fire engines and 15 fire personnel were called to Junxion student accommodation after someone left a kettle on a hob.

The incident occurred at around 9:30am on the 26th January. Residents were evacuated and left standing in the cold for almost an hour. A flat was left with light smoke and fire damage and no-one was hurt. 55% of 18-24 year-olds deaths in fires are due to misuse of cooking appliances. Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue accepts that “partying, smoking and drinking are all part and parcel of a student lifestyle” but also urge “safety awareness should not stop when you get home.”

One Junxion resident, who didn’t wish to be named, said “most people were still in pajamas and had got out of bed to stand in the freezing cold for 45 minutes. I think what irritated people the most was it was such a careless thing to do, leaving a kettle on a hob, and that silly things like that could be easily avoided.”

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