Fire safety in student accommodation

You may be aware of a serious fire in a student accommodation block in Bolton over the weekend. Whilst the fire was very serious, fortunately there were no serious casualties and everyone was able to evacuate the building.

We would like to reassure all students that all of the accommodation at the University of Birmingham meets the highest safety standards. Our buildings have modern fire detection and firefighting equipment, all of which is tested regularly and alerts our 24 hour security team. The University also works closely with West Midlands Fire Service to ensure that all buildings are regularly and routinely checked.

Furthermore, the University would like to place emphasis on the following points in relation to its student accommodation:

  • Immediately after the Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017, all University accommodation was reviewed to ensure that it was designed to comply with fire regulations and did not have the same cladding system that was used on Grenfell Tower. These checks have also taken place again recently.
  • All of our student accommodation buildings have up to date fire risk assessments in place.
  • Successful and routine fire drills have taken place in all of our accommodation buildings since September 2019.

Partner Accommodation

In addition to its own accommodation, the University houses around 2,000 students through long term partnerships with a number of private providers of student accommodation who operate across the UK.  These partner providers, Unite Students, Host and Liberty Living, are required to meet the similar high standards that the University adheres to for its own student accommodation, in order to ensure high levels of student safety.

All of our partner providers’ properties have confirmed they are fully compliant with fire safety regulations. They are all subject to rigorous fire safety regimes including regular fire drills and fire risk assessments, extensive fire detection and alarm systems, and are working closely with the university to provide continuous assurance on their fire safety procedures.

Shared Responsibilities

It is important to understand that fire safety is everyone’s responsibility. By following a small number of important steps, you can help to ensure the safety of yourself and others in the community.

We would urge all residents to:

  • Respond quickly to any fire alarm activation and evacuate the building promptly
  • Not to prop open any fire doors, as these are critical to prevent the spread of fire and enable a safe evacuation
  • Not to tamper with any fire detection or fire-fighting equipment.
  • Treat every alarm activation as a real fire – even if there have been previous false alarms

The University also acknowledges that false alarms can be a common occurrence in student accommodation. We are working to reduce the number of false alarms and working with students to find appropriate solutions without any detriment to the safety of students or occupants.

Regardless of whether you live in our or our partners’ student accommodation or not, we strongly encourage all students to take 4 minutes of their time to view our Fire Safety video.

Feedback and Concerns

Students living in either University Owned or Partner Accommodation are encouraged to contact their building managers or Customer Service Managers via their site reception.

Vale Village Reception

+44 (0)121 415 8520 /

Pritchatts Park Village Reception

+44 (0)121 414 9022 /

Selly Oak Village Reception

+44 (0)121 415 1011 /

Host - The Metalworks 

+44 (0)121 285 1770 /

Unite Students - Battery Park 

+44 (0)117 302 7102 / 

Liberty Park 

+44 (0)121 256 7000 /  

Liberty Court 

+44 (0)121 633 3316 /  

Liberty Gardens 

+44 (0)121 633 3316 /


Professional Services