Health and Safety

Accidents

The University has a responsibility for the health, safety and welfare of its students, staff and visitors and aims to provide a safe, healthy and high quality learning environment.  Students living in University accommodation must report all incidents, however small, to Elms Village reception.  All students have a legal responsibility to take reasonable care for their own safety and that of others including guests.

Damage Charges

The University will write to notify you of the cost of putting right any damage caused. Where damage is caused anonymously, the University is entitled to charge each student for a proportion of the costs. The University will exercise reasonable discretion in deciding whether to share the charges among the occupants of a house/flat, all the students in a particular block or on a particular corridor, or among the occupants of the entire house. Where accommodation has to be cleaned, decorated or repairs made before it is fit to be reallocated, we will charge the full cost of cleaning, decorating and repair to the outgoing student. Items which need replacing as a result of reasonable wear and tear, and decoration which is necessary as part of ongoing maintenance, are not charged to students. Where damage is caused anonymously and the University divides the charges between the students, any student who has grounds for objecting to the charge (for example if they can show they were not at the University at the time when the damage occurred) may make representations to the Accommodation Office, who will fairly and impartially consider the statements made and the evidence presented. Where the Investigating Officer is satisfied that a student could not have been responsible for the damage, they will not be charged. This may mean that other students have to pay an increased share of the costs.

Dangerous Items

Students are prohibited from bringing dangerous or offensive weapons, for example, pellet guns into halls of residence or any other University-owned property. Any item of this nature found will be confiscated and you will be subject to disciplinary action.

Items banned in your accommodation are sporting knives, catapults, replica guns, laser guns, air guns, replica swords, water pistols, water bombs and fireworks.

Certain sports equipment, for example, fencing foils or archery equipment can be classified as offensive or dangerous. You may only bring these items into the residence once confirmation has been received by the Accommodation Manager from Queen’s Sport that you are a member of the appropriate official University Club. If you are unsure whether or not your sports equipment is classified as offensive, please contact the staff in Elms Village reception who will obtain clarification.

Electrical Equipment and Safety

You will need to ensure your equipment is safe to use before bringing it into the accommodation. Any faulty fittings or dangerous wiring will be removed. Holes must not be made in furniture or fabric to accommodate wiring. In accommodation, except for Willow Walk, the total combined watts of your appliances in use at any time in your room cannot exceed 1,000W. In order to prevent the electricity in your room from overloading, the use of the following items in your bedroom is prohibited:

• Kettles

• Toasters/sandwich toasters

• Rice cookers

• Coffee machines

• Household fridges

• Electric blankets

• Hairdryers or hair straighteners (must be less than 1,000 watts).

• Amplifiers/keyboards/electric guitars/speakers/electric heaters

Please note: we provide kettles, toasters, fridges, cookers and microwaves in all kitchens and rice cookers are available upon request (subject to availability). If the power in your electrical sockets fails, please try pushing the reset button on the socket (if your room has a reset button). If this is not available in your room or does not restore the power, please complete a maintenance request form online or contact Elms Village reception. Please remove all plugs from sockets if you leave your room for any length of time and remember DO NOT overload extension leads. If you live in Willow Walk the above restrictions DO NOT apply.

Fire Regulations

All students and their guests are required to familiarise themselves with the following regulations, the location of fire appliances, fire alarm call points, exit routes from buildings and assembly points. Fire and evacuation instructions are found in each building – please read them carefully. You will be required to participate in fire drills which are carried out each year in all accommodation. Each apartment/house must successfully pass a fire drill, with residents having to evacuate the building within three minutes. A fire safety video is available to view on the Accommodation website and this video will also be used during your compulsory induction meeting. Willow Walk residents should note that each apartment has its own fire alarm system. The assembly point for Willow Walk residents is at the common room. Deliberate interference with firefighting equipment, smoke detectors, doors, signage or alarms is a criminal offence and puts your and your fellow residents’ lives at risk. Offending students will be dealt with accordingly under the University Conduct Regulations. Please refer to your common room notice board for further information and examples of misconduct with associated outcomes. Failure to comply with the regulations or with instructions from a member of University or emergency service staff will be considered a serious infringement and render the offender liable for prosecution.

Students must all watch the Fire Safety video and the following regulations must be observed at all times:

All Queen’s Accommodation is non-smoking, which includes all communal areas and bedrooms. Fire doors – these include your   kitchen, corridor and bedroom doors – must be kept closed and not be propped open.

Safety signs must not be covered, removed or defaced in any way.

Heat/smoke detectors must not be covered or interfered with in any way.

No cooking or heating of liquids is permitted to take place in bedrooms. Use of chip pans or similar items is prohibited. Care should be exercised whilst cooking with a wok, frying pan or the grill. Smoke produced from such cooking activities,  for example, burning toast can set off fire alarms. Cookers and grill pans must be cleaned before using to prevent unwanted fire alarm activations.

Do not leave food unattended in the toaster, hob, grill or oven.

Barbecues are only permitted outside the Treehouse in the designated BBQ area. Please do not use the grass areas or anywhere near your building. Please have consideration for local residents and move inside after 11pm.

Activation of alarms (particularly those where fire doors have been propped open or windows kept closed) which results in the unnecessary attendance of security personnel may result in disciplinary action. An administration fee and equipment reinstatement charge will be levied in the event of malicious, preventable and unwanted alarm activation. Such charges may be made against an individual, flat or block.

Do not spray aerosols close to the fire detector in your bedroom.

Keep your en suite door closed during and after showering as steam can activate the fire alarm.

Any defects with University furniture or fittings should be reported to site staff immediately.

Any activity which could place other people or property at risk is forbidden.

Fire drills and fire alarm activations must be responded to promptly by all in residence. Information regarding escape routes and assembly points can be found on your bedroom door.

Cars and other modes of transport must not be parked in locations where access by emergency vehicles would be impeded.

Storage of bicycles or any other objects is not permitted within bedrooms, on staircases, in corridors or in communal areas. The University may remove any article which constitutes a fire risk, but will return it to the owner after meeting with the Operations and Compliance Manager.

Candles, joss sticks, incense, tea lights, fairy lights, fireworks, electric bar fires, fan heaters and oil burners are not permitted.

Health and Safety

The University aims to protect the health, safety and welfare of students and staff. Some policies on safety are set out in the Student Handbook while others are available from the departments in the University to which they apply. Breach of a University policy may be regarded as a breach of the Conduct Regulations and disciplinary action may be taken either under the policy in question or under the student regulations and disciplinary procedures set out in the General Regulations.

Every student has a duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions. All students are required to maintain a safe environment within their building and bedroom for staff who may have to enter the accommodation. For example, students are responsible for ensuring that cables to personal electrical equipment are safe and are not left trailing. It is a condition of the Accommodation Contract that a student will not put the health and safety of others at risk.

Hazardous chemicals or biological substances must not be brought into the accommodation sites (prescribed medicines are allowed). Mercury thermometers are not allowed on the premises.

Students are responsible for the safe moving and handling of all luggage and belongings. University staff may assist in the handling of excessive loads.

Illness

When you arrive at Queen’s University you should register with the University Health Centre. If you are taken to hospital through injury or illness and are required to remain there for a time, then it is important to contact Elms Village reception, who will inform your School Office.

Legionella

In order to avoid any undue worry or concern, any student leaving their room for more than a week during term time, or during the summer if you have a 51 week contract, should notify the Accommodation team in person, via email to (accommodation@qub.ac.uk) or telephone (+44 (0)28 9097 4403). We also need to know this to allow our housekeeping staff to run fresh water through the shower and taps once a week whilst you are absent. This is to ensure that water hygiene is maintained throughout the building and water remains fresh in your room. Please also advise the Accommodation team of your return to accommodation.

Safety Awareness

Residents should keep their bedroom locked and windows closed when unoccupied. It is also your responsibility to ensure that the front door to your flat/building is locked. If your front door, corridor door or bedroom door are not locking properly please contact a member of staff who will report the problem to the Maintenance team. Do not let anyone into your building or home if you do not know them. If you do, and they cause a disturbance or damage, you will be held responsible. Members of University staff carry identification cards and should identify themselves before entering a building. Occasionally you may be asked by a member of University staff or the Safety Team to produce identification, for example, your student card. Please co-operate.  This is not an invasion of privacy, but is in the interest of all residents to dissuade intruders. Failure to produce your identification when asked is a breach of University Conduct Regulations. CCTV security cameras are at some accommodation sites and a Security team is on call at all sites. The Safety Team may also use CCTV at times when on patrol. If you discover anyone whom you believe to be trespassing or presenting a potential threat, please report them to security staff immediately.

Smoking Policy

It is against the law to smoke cigarettes and e-cigarettes in virtually all enclosed public places, workplaces, public and work vehicles in Northern Ireland. Failure to comply with the law is a criminal offence and carries financial penalties. The law clarifies that ‘smoking’ refers to smoking tobacco or anything which contains tobacco, or smoking any other substance.

Smoking Restrictions

Smoking is prohibited in the following University locations:

• Anywhere in University and Students’ Union buildings or vehicles

• External areas of the University

All University accommodation is non-smoking, which includes all communal areas and bedrooms. Designated smoking areas are provided on campus, and there are two located at the front and back of the Treehouse, at the side of Sycamore 10 and one located on the Willow Walk site. Students living in Queen’s Houses should not smoke outside the building, but move to the public roadway. If you are caught smoking inside or standing outside your building you will be subject to disciplinary action.

Students who have an Accommodation Contract with the University agree to comply with the University’s policy on smoking. Breaches of policy will constitute an offence under the University’s Conduct Regulations and disciplinary procedures.