Warwick Payne, 1998
Investigations into the widespread usage of asbestos throughout Southampton University has led to the discovery of several serious fire risks. While asbestos itself is fire-proof, it is never the less a considerable fire risk. When a building containing asbestos catches fire, the resulting structural damage can often expose the damaged asbestos to the local atmosphere leading to fatal asbestos exposure for anyone trapped in the blaze and severe breathing problems for those in the local area.
In addition to fire risks on the main campus, students often face potentially fatal fire risks in crowded bars, music concerts and dangerous filled night clubs. Student’s Union President, Matt Mowlem declares that:
My overall impression is that clubs outside the University let in more students than is legally safe.
He also expressed concern over fire exits. The Southampton University buildings themselves pose no obvious fire risk as the SUSU closely follows its City Council fire limit quota, but maintains this should not lead to complacency.
Southampton University advises all students should be aware of potential fire hazards at all times. On average, fire kills more people while studying at British Universities than flu and meningitis added together. Students cannot neglect that in crowded bars and nightclubs and when dealing with fire and heating equipment (both research and domestic), they are exposing themselves to serious injury. If they do not take precautions to avoid accidents with fire and make sure they are always aware of fire exits when socialising, they could quite literally be placing their lives on the line.