Health, Safety and Environment Monthly Messages (2014)

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Holly PictureHow to Stay Safe at Christmas

Christmas is a special time for celebration and should not end in tragedy because of the extra hazards that are present at this time of year.

The following applies to any decorations or trees purchased or brought in to decorate University premises:

  • Do not site Christmas trees next to fire exits or exit routes, where it may introduce a fire or trip hazard
  • Any Christmas trees or other decorations which have an electrical supply must have passed a portable appliance test.
  • LED type fairy lights operate at much lower temperatures and are the safest option.
  • Real Christmas trees are not permitted. See link
  • All decorations such as tinsel and garlands must be fire retardant.
  • Take care when siting Christmas cards and decorations not to block the ventilation holes in electronic equipment
  • Your risk assessment must be reviewed to determine if the existing control measures are still sufficient.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Wishing you a safe and Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year from the Health Safety and Environment Department

Did you know...?

Candles sparked around 1,000 UK house fires, resulting in 9 deaths and 388 casualties, in 2011/12.

Fairy lights went up in smoke causing 20 fires, while Christmas trees, decorations and cards were also a fire risk and responsible for 47 house fires, leading to 20 non-fatal casualties, across the UK.

Source: 2011/12 Fire Statistics Great Britain from the Department for Communities and Local Government.


FireworkHave a Safe Bonfire Night! Please consider attending an organised event rather than risking your safety by having your own bonfire.

But if you still want your own bonfire...

Please ensure that you know about the guidelines:-

  • Bonfires should be 18 metres from buildings, trees, fences, overhead cables and car parking areas. Only clean, dry timber should be burned.
  • Do not burn: Aerosols, Batteries, Bottles, Foam-filled furniture, Tins of paint, Tyres.
  • Bonfires should be no more than 3 metres in height. There should be a suitable barrier around the bonfire to keep spectators 5 metres away.
  • Do not using the following to light the bonfire: Petrol, Paraffin, Diesel, White spirit or Methylated Spirit
  • Use Firelighters instead!
  • Always check that no children or animals are hiding in the bonfire before lighting.
  • Keep some buckets of water nearby in case of emergency and to damp down after the event.
  • Bonfires built on council land without permission will be removed.



  • Ideally attend an organised display.
  • Fireworks must not be sold to any person under the age of 18.
  • Buy fireworks marked BS 7114 or CE.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box.
  • Follow the instructions on each firework.
  • Light them at arms length using a taper.
  • Stand well back.
  • Never go back to a lit firework.
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby if you are setting off fireworks in your garden.
  • Never throw fireworks.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix and may lead to injury.


Bear with Sore HeadDrink Awareness

Enjoying being back at uni? We hope so, however, that banging headache of yours from your night in the Pier may just be putting you off your pasta! Here are a few tips how to enjoy your night out without suffering the next day...

Eat something! Make sure you have a proper dinner before heading out to hit the town - no liquid dinners!

Know your limits and keep track on what you are drinking - why don't you try using the Drinkaware app?

Make a mocktail of your cocktail! How about trying some alcohol-free cocktails?

Look after eachother! That's what friends are for!

Have fun!


Find out how much alcohol is in your favourite drink!