Building & Fire Safety

As part of Sanctuary your safety and wellbeing are at the centre of all we do. We house thousands of customers and their safety and security in our properties is top priority. We operate our properties in line with the relevant and prevailing legislation, but also within the codes under which we operate. We keep up to date information on the building design, how it is built and managed and any changes that may need to be made.

fire safety

Resident Engagement Strategy

We keep you informed and ask for your input when we need to and that’s why we have a resident engagement strategy. This strategy outlines how we communicate with you with regards to fire and building safety issues. 

We engage with you through our website and digital platforms such as email, text and our online portal.  We let you know what we do to keep you safe, we let you know what actions you can take to minimise any risks, and we tell you what we’ll do if something goes wrong.

We will liaise with you about any changes that need to happen for example short term or long term evacuation processes or alarm activation changes or indeed if any major refurbishment work which may change procedures is undertaken during occupation (we try to do this when the buildings are not occupied wherever possible)

We ask every year whether the communication you receive is in a suitable format and is understood.  We will advise you about any changes that need to happen and if you ask for information about building safety issues in your property, our teams will support you with these requests as soon as possible. In this survey we have a section on Fire and Building safety to ensure the information we provide is understandable and in a suitable format.

There is information provided on how to keep yourselves safe including fire prevention and evacuation.

If you have any questions or concerns, then talk to your Accommodation team via reception areas or provided contact details.  If you need to make a complaint our complaints process is detailed on the website.  If you have complaints about your building under the Building Safety Act 2022 (in England) then you can also contact the Building Safety Regulator. The Building Safety Regulator details are provided at the bottom of this page. You can also access a copy of our complaints procedure here.

We will measure and keep under review the content in this strategy using the below methods, although this list is not exhaustive:

  • Annual review of information provided to residents.

  • Feedback on surveys

  • Working with our Building Safety Managers & wider teams

  • Response to any complaints or concerns raised

  • Reviewing updated guidance from the Building Safety Regulator

  • Lessons learned implemented from complaints or incidents


Building Safety Regulator – If you, wish to contact the BSR about any building safety issues or a complaint relating to building safety, you can do this through an online form here.

If you are unable to use this service you can also contact the regulator on the number below.

Telephone: 0300 790 6787

If you would prefer to speak to the BSR on the phone in a language other than English, a translation service is available.


Fire safety

All our properties are designed and managed with fire safety in mind. Follow the guidelines below to reduce the risk of fires happening:

  • Living in a taller building with multiple floors does not mean you are any more at risk from fire, but it does mean you need to consider your fire safety and the impact a fire could have on other residents. It is important for your own safety, to understand what to do in the event of a fire, whether it is in your flat or somewhere else in the building.

  • Your building, your flat and your bedroom are protected by a fully tested fire detection system. We carry out regular Fire Risk assessments to ensure your building is safe and also complete safety and compliance checks on gas boilers, electrical systems and appliances.

When you move into a new home, the last thing you’re going to be thinking about is fire safety. Knowing just a little bit about fire prevention and what to do in the event of a fire could potentially save your life.

We take your safety very seriously and want you to enjoy a safe environment when you live with us.

Check out our fire safety video for some useful information about fire safety in your new student home.

Fire safety video

Naked flames such as candles, oil burners and joss sticks are dangerous in your accommodation, please don't bring or use these

Microwaves don't like anything metallic, check your utensils and dishes are free from metal before using

Chip pans and barbecues are just too unpredictable, they can't be used at your accommodation

Ensure your grill pan, oven and hob are clean, food debris and oil can quickly catch fire

Cooking when tired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not a good idea

If you have fairy lights, be smart and turn them off when you're not in your room.

Only battery-operated fairy lights are allowed.

Your heater is for letting out heat, don't cover it up

Fire doors will protect you if there is a fire - please keep them closed

Always attend to your cooking, remember to switch off appliances after use

The really
important stuff

Safety equipment and evacuation routes
Safety equipment and evacuation routes

Fire-fighting equipment exists for your safety. Misusing fire-fighting equipment (including fire blankets and extinguishers) puts lives at risk.

Remember to keep the corridors and exit doors clear – rubbish needs to be disposed of and bikes and the likes to be stored in the correct areas.

Smoke and heat detectors
Smoke and heat detectors

Tampering with detectors for example removing the detector head or covering them can activate the alarm, trigger an evacuation of the building, and bring out the Fire Services – do not waste your fellow housemates or the fire services time.

You create steam when you shower? Keep your door closed and ensure the extractor fan is working.

If you are going to iron, use straighteners/hairdryer, then do it away from the detector heads, and keep that aerosol spray away from there too.

Your extractor fan should be on when cooking – open the window and keep that fire door closed.

the really important stuff

Fire drills

The fire alarms are tested in each property every week. Fire drills are a legal requirement and are held throughout the year. The fire evacuation procedure is different in each building so familiarise yourself with the fire action notices, evacuation routes and assembly point of your site.

Discovering a fire:

  • Sound the fire alarm, if safe to do so

  • Get out of the building

  • Call the fire brigade on 999

  • Let a member of our team know, if safe to do so

Fire drills
On hearing the alarm

If the Fire Alarm sounds, you need to evacuate the property and go to the fire assembly points.

If you have a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) we will have advised what to do in the event of a fire alarm.

Throughout the property there are evacuation notices and signage advising on the fire assembly points - when you move in - familiarise yourselves with your nearest escape route and your fire assembly point. This is important!

  • Sound the fire alarm, if safe to do so

  • Get out of the building, alerting flatmates where safe and possible (Use the stairs, not the lift)

  • Call the fire brigade on 999

  • Meet at the assembly point and stay there

  • You can only re-enter the building when someone in authority says it is safe to do so

On hearing the alarm
Need more info?

Our goal is to equip you with all the necessary information & resources to make this process as smooth as possible. So, don't hesitate – explore our website today and find your dream student accommodation!