E-cigarettes, Batteries & Chargers

BU’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team would like to remind students about the risks of using mains/USB chargers for E-Cigarettes.e-cigs-1

Electronic cigarettes have been linked to more than 100 fires. Fire services in the UK are now attending at least one blaze involving the devices each week. They have attended dozens of incidents suspected to have been sparked by e-cigarettes or related equipment – including chargers – in less than three years.

Students should be aware of the fire hazard associated with the use and recharging of e-cigarettes, disposable electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), cigars, pipes and similar battery powered tobacco replacement products which use a heating element (atomiser) to produce a vapour which resembles smoke.

The devices should not be left whilst being recharged either by using a mains adaptor, USB port on a laptop, or computer in case they catch fire. This applies to all BU vehicles as well, including those hired in.e-cigs-2

They should not be used in an oxygen rich environment given the increased risk of ignition and explosion.

They should only be used outside at least 10 meters away from buildings as they are treated the same as normal smoking material with regards to BU’s policy on smoking.

Equipment used for charging should be marked with a CE mark to provethey have been tested to an approved higher standard.

Fire Strike – 1 & 4 November

fire-engineThe Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have announced that their members will be on strike between 6.30pm until 11pm on Friday 1 November and 6 am until 8am on Monday 4 November, so staff and students are advised to take greater precautions during these times.

Safety systems of work that are already in place will remain. However, everyone has a duty to participate in fire safety at BU, particularly at the time of a strike by Fire Brigade personnel. You can assist greatly in preventing fires and alarms. 

Everyone should consider delaying any non-essential activities that may increase fire risk until full fire service coverage is resumed. 

Staff and students on campus during this time should take even more care and to think about their safety from fire in all of their activities. 

  • You should postpone, where possible, all hazardous activities for the duration of the strike. These may involve workshop or laboratory activities.
  • Please consider the fire hazards within your areas and do all you can to minimize risk
  • Ensure that all fire doors are kept shut and not wedged open.
  • Ensure that all escape routes are unobstructed at all times and that accumulation of waste materials is avoided.
  • You must immediately evacuate any area in which an alarm sounds.  Never enter a building in which the alarm is sounding, and await direction from the responsible person.
  • Non-fire emergencies, such as becoming trapped in a lift, procedures remain unchanged.

Directors/Heads of Professional Services and School Directors of Operations should ensure the following within their relevant departments:

  • Hazardous processes, experiments and works are postponed for the duration of the strike wherever possible.

Teaching staff should all be aware of the following:

  • That people in their charge leave the building during an evacuation.
  • That those requiring assistance with evacuating in their charge, including those with mobility difficulties, are taken to the nearest refuge areas. 

For further information contact the BU Fire Safety Officer, Chris Hewitt on 01202 965101 or the Estates Help Desk on 01202 965515.