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Accommodation Safety and Security Handbook


We take your security very seriously. Here are some easy ways to help keep you and your friends safe.

Windows and doors

Always close and lock your windows and doors when you leave your room, even for a few minutes. Windows are fitted with restrictors to prevent over-opening. These should not be removed.

Never wedge doors open.

Your keys

It is important that you keep your keys safe. You should never label your keys with your address; put your keys in a bag that contains anything with your address on; or give your keys to anyone else.

If you do lose your keys, you need to let us know immediately. You can do this by:

Your possessions

Don't leave any valuable possession exposed. Always ensure that your room is locked when exiting the premises. Opto Living Ltd takes no responsibility for the loss of personal belongings.

Bike security

Bike Stands have been provided in a designated area of the premises. Please follow the below advice concerning the security of your bike

  • Secure your bike with a good quality lock
  • Learn how to use your lock correctly. Fill the inside of a D lock with as much of your bike as possible, include parts of the frame and wheels if you can - this prevents thieves from expanding it or trying to bend it open. Lock it around the frame above the pedals not on the cross tube - this makes it harder for thieves to use battery operated cutting tools.
  • Don't leave a cable lock with spare cable allowing the bike to move around the secured post. Lock the bike as tight as possible.

People you don't know

Don't let anyone you don't know into your residence. All staff members, working on our behalf, carry identification. Don't be nervous about asking for identification from anyone asking for access to your room – a genuine caller will be happy to provide this.

Don't let people with leaflets and flyers into your residence.

If you do see anyone acting suspiciously, contact the police, reception or Security.

Contacting security

Security staff patrols the premises daily. You can security staff either by visiting our reception or by call at +44 (0)1582 736 010 / +44 (0)753 550 2086.

Contacting Police

Please call 999 for emergency calls or 101 for non-emergency. The local police station is located at Buxton Road, Luton, LU1 1SD.


We are responsible for providing you with safe and secure accommodation. There are also some things you can do to keep you and your friends safe.

Repairs and maintenance

If you notice any defects within your accommodation or in the surrounding grounds, please let us know contact our reception as soon as possible. A member of staff will provide you a repair form where you can report any maintenance issue. We have a team of maintenance staff who will aim to fix any problem from Monday – Friday.

Accident prevention

Please don't climb onto buildings, building roofs and if there are signs saying, 'Keep out', do not enter.

Ensure that there are no trailing cables on floors that may cause trip hazards.

Make sure you know what to do in the event of an accident or fire.

Safe environment

Electrical equipment

Any electrical devices you bring into your accommodation must conform to BSS and IEE regulations.

Rubbish disposal

Tidy up any food lying around in your kitchen and do not leave bins overflowing, as this can attract pests such as mice and cockroaches. All tenants must ensure to dispose the rubbish in the designated bins area. If you are not sure where that it, please ask a member of staff.

Any areas of concern will be noted by staff and could lead to a specialist clean being carried out and the costs being charged to you.

Dangerous items

Do not have anything in your room which could harm you or others. This includes:

  • Fireworks
  • Knives
  • Airguns

Portable electric or gas heaters, cooking equipment, candles, oil lamps or anything else with a flame in your room are serious fire hazards and are not permitted.

If you want to bring your own furniture or furnishings you will need to contact your Building Manager to get permission. They will consider the fire regulations and health and safety guidelines before giving permission.

Residents with a disability

If you have a disability you should contact your Building Manager at the beginning of term one. If you have a temporary mobility issue during your residency, please contact your Residence Manager as soon as possible.

We'll advise you of any special arrangements, such as personal evacuation plans, in case of fire or other emergencies.

Fire Safety

We work hard to make sure our residents are safe against fire. There are lots of things you can do to help keep you and your friends safe.

Please don't take any chances were fire is concerned. It is important that you know how to keep yourself safe and what to do if a fire should break out.

All of our kitchens, passages and staircases have heat and smoke detectors. Study-bedrooms also have multi-sensor smoke and/or heat detection equipment installed.

Fire alarm testing

We carry out weekly fire alarm tests throughout the year. We will notify you of dates and times in advance.

We also do a full fire drill evacuation during term one. Residents who fail to evacuate will be subject to the University's disciplinary procedures and may be fined.

Students with a disability or temporary mobility issue

We'll advise you of any special arrangements, such as personal evacuation plans or specialist equipment.

What you can do

Be prepared

As soon as you arrive you should read the ‘Fire Action' notice displayed in your kitchen. Familiarise yourself with the locations of fire-fighting equipment, signed escape routes and fire exits.

Dangerous items

Due to the increased risk of fire, the following items are not allowed in your accommodation:

  • Candles
  • Flares
  • Fireworks
  • Joss sticks
  • Deep fat fryers and chip pans
  • Halogen lamps

You are not allowed to hang fabrics on walls, across ceilings or over electrical appliances.

Safety when cooking

You should never leave food cooking unattended in the oven, on the hob or grill.

Our fire alarms are very sensitive, so keep fire doors shut when cooking. Use the kitchen extractor unit (where applicable) to stop steam from your cooking activating the alarms.

If you want to use a barbecue, you will need to obtain permission from the Building Manager. They will provide safety information and find you a suitable location. Permission will not be unreasonably withheld.


Steam from showers may also activate fire alarms, so always close the shower room door during and after use.

Fire-fighting equipment

You should always make sure that fire doors are closed – please do not prop them open.

A fire blanket is available in your kitchen.

It is extremely dangerous to interfere with fire-fighting equipment, fire detection systems, notices and information or fire break glasses. You must not cover any of the fire/smoke detectors. Please report any misuse of fire-fighting equipment to Security.

If you activate the fire alarms or the Fire and Rescue Service has to come to the residence because of your carelessness, negligence or irresponsible behaviour, you will be subject to the University's disciplinary procedures and may be fined.

Remember, every time the Fire and Rescue Service are called because of carelessness, they are prevented from attending genuine emergencies.

Electric and Gas Safety

There are lots of ways you can help keep your accommodation safe while using electricity and gas.


Mains electricity is extremely dangerous and can kill if misused.

Our responsibilities

Portable Appliance Testing

We carry out annual safety tests on all portable electrical appliances supplied in the premises, such as toasters, cutlers and microwaves. This is known as Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). Each item will be clearly marked with the date and whether it has passed or failed the test. If an item has failed the test, we will ask you not to use it and may remove it immediately.

We do not carry out PAT on any electrical items you bring with you. If you would like us to do this, there is a charge of £15 – please speak to the Building Manager for that.

Removal of appliances

If we find any potentially dangerous equipment in your room or communal area, we will label it as unsafe and ask you to remove it.

If we consider the equipment to be extremely dangerous, we will remove it immediately for safe-keeping or disposal.

What you can do

Don't use any high power appliance (rated 1000 watts or more) or an appliance which could be a safety risk in your bedroom. Make sure cables to personal electrical equipment are safe and are not a trip hazard or fire risk.

Safety standards

Your electrical equipment must conform to BSS and IEE regulations

International students

Please check that your travel adaptors are compliant with British Standard 1363. This should be clearly displayed on the adaptor.


Our responsibilities

We check all gas appliances regularly. Copies of Gas Safety Records are available from your Reception.

If you smell gas

You must act quickly if you smell gas inside your accommodation – here's what to do:

  • Turn the gas supply off at the safety valve
  • Open the doors and windows to let the gas escape
  • Don't use naked flames
  • Don't touch electrical switches - turning a light on or off can start a fire
  • Contact your Reception immediately. When Reception is unattended contact the emergency number on +44 (0)753 550 2086.