York University: Students told to wait a minute if fire alarm sounds

Self-isolating students are told to ‘stay in your rooms for one minute’ if fire alarm sounds to avoid infecting people during evacuation

  • Students were told to wait for one minute before leaving halls in case of a fire
  • The guidance has since been changed after York University was blasted online
  • Comes after it was revealed 220 students at the university have coronavirus 

Self-isolating students have been told to wait ‘one minute’ before evacuating their halls if the fire alarm is sounded.

York University’s guidance was slammed by concerned students after a notice explaining the fire safety plan was shared online.

It read: ‘If you are self isolating and the fire system in your accomodation building is activated please follow these procedures to ensure your safety.

‘When the alarm sounds; stay in your room for one minute then make your way to the nearest refuge (this will allow non-isolating individuals to exit the building).’

Heslington Hall, part of the main campus at the University of York. The guidance was slammed by concerned students after a notice explaining the fire safety plan was shared online

One student complained they would rather risk the spread of coronavirus than die in a fire. Pictured, the guidance

One student complained they would rather risk the spread of coronavirus than die in a fire.

They wrote: ‘If the fire alarm goes off, it’s every man for themselves.’ 

It comes after 220 students at the unversity tested positive for coronavirus. 

The university has since updated its guidance and now allows all students to leave the building as soon as possible after an alarm sounds.

A spokesman said: ‘In the event of a fire alarm, all students should evacuate as normal. Where possible, they should wear a mask and keep a safe distance from others.’

Another former student claimed the unversity used to have a policy where students couldn’t call the emergency services and had to contact campus security teams instead.

The university has since updated its guidance and now allows all students to leave the building as soon as possible after an alarm sounds. Pictured, the King’s Manor, a university building

Another former student claimed the unversity used to have a policy where they couldn’t call fire services themselves – but had to call campus security teams – in the case of an emergency

Will Pannell said: ‘I’m sure when I was there they had a policy that you couldn’t contact any of the emergency services yourself but should go through campus security, this seems similarly thought out.’ 

One wrote: ‘Pathetic that it needed to be “reviewed” to realise that staying in a room for 1 minute during a potential fire wasn’t a great idea.’

Another said: ‘Whom ever implemented that needs be removed from their position as clearly not competent. I mean why would this ever be a suggestion.’

James Nicholls said: ‘That is shocking that you would put students lives at risk – whoever wrote that should be prosecuted.’

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