Student Fire Safety in PBSA: What you need to know


    Student fire safety week highlights both the risks and innovations in the student housing sector. For many, going to college, university, or placements will be the first time they live away from home. For others, it will mean that it’s the first time they have their own space to cook, live, and meet new friends. These experiences are valuable, but it is important to keep students safe while they explore life in purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA)

    The Student and PBSA Boom

    Despite the recent changes to student loan rules, the number of people applying to, and attending, universities continue to rise.

    Leading property agents Savills have published an article examining the rise of students and the demand for PBSAs. They have highlighted UCAS predictions that foresee the number of university applicants rising to 1 million a year by 2030.

    Pair this with the reduction of HMOs and private rentals available to students, and many are now looking to purpose-built student accommodation for housing.

    This has prompted investment in PBSAs from property investors around the world.

    Student Fire Safety

    There are many fire risks associated with PBSAs and students.

    They range from the general home fire risks, such as leaving appliances on, overloading plug sockets, and leaving food cooking unattended, to more specific factors such as post-night out cooking and lighting candles under the influence of alcohol.

    Research from Energy Manager Magazine found that 15% of students admit to having fallen asleep while cooking – as an ex-student myself, I would guess the actual number is much higher than we’d like to think!

    There is also a risk in the proximity of PBSAs and other apartment buildings. If a fire does breakout, for example, in the kitchen, this can easily spread to other rooms, flats, and floors.

    Innovations and Safety Measures

    There are many ways that PBSA and rented accommodation owners can protect their tenants and property from the risk of fire.

    Student fire safety has, and always will be, a great concern for students, property owners, and families, and this is reflected in the stringent regulations for landlords.

    As a result, in student accommodation you should readily find fire extinguishers, fire blankets, fire doors, fire alarm systems, and more.

    Recent innovations in the fire industry have also given students and landlords greater peace of mind.

    The development of Kitchen StoveGuard technology provides superior protection for avoiding fires before they even begin. The device detects increasing temperatures on electric hobs and can shut down the power once the preset temperature is reached and well before a fire becomes imminent.

    These student fire safety measures all contribute to the safety of the buildings and help to tackle the common accidents that many experience.

    To read more about PBSAs and case studies where the kitchen Stove Guard has been successfully specified and installed, head to the website here.

    The Firechief range includes high-performance fire extinguishers, fire blankets, first aid kits, lithium-ion fire extinguishers and the Kitchen Stove Guard.  For more information, call us on +44 (0)330 999 0019 or email

    The information contained within this blog is provided solely for general informational and educational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions based upon this information, we advise the reader to consult any and all relevant statutory or regulatory guidance and where necessary to consult a qualified fire or industry regulation professional. The use or reliance on any information contained herein is solely at the reader’s risk.