From the Buildings Bursar
Every school naturally has to comply with statutory regulations, the details of which can be quite complex. However, the following hopefully provides practical advice in respect of the principal conditions. Your son’s Dame will be pleased to answer any queries that you may have.
Bed or furniture throws, table cloths and floor rugs The School positively discourages the provision of these items since they increase the fire loading placed on the boarding house, i.e. the more materials available to burn in the House, the greater the risk of a more rapid, intense and long-lasting fire. Items manufactured from man-made fabrics are of particular concern since they usually burn quickly, generating thick black acrid smoke and harmful fumes. Any items which are brought to School must carry a permanently attached, Government approved label confirming resistance to cigarettes and matches.
Drapes No material of any description (fabrics, football shirts, bar towels, flags, etc) may be draped or attached from light fittings, across ceilings or walls, but such items may be securely fixed within the frames of the pin boards provided, with the House Master’s approval.
Electrical adaptors The use of multi-way plugs is absolutely forbidden; however, appropriately fused, proprietary bar extension leads may be used. The plug serving each bar extension lead must be inserted directly into a wall socket and not connected from one to another. Electrical cables must be carefully routed to minimise risks of damage/abrasion and to eliminate trip hazards. They must never be routed under carpets or rugs.
Electrical appliances Must be fitted with a fuse no larger than 5 amps and maintained in a safe condition throughout their School life. Step down transformers, commonly used in connection with computer peripherals and as mobile phone chargers can generate considerable amounts of heat. Consequently they must be positioned so as to allow air to circulate around them – they should never be covered with clothing, bedding or cushions.
Appliances in boys’ rooms must always be switched off when rooms are left unoccupied.
Forbidden items Appliances with a heating element are generally forbidden in boys’ rooms, this includes: electric fires, electric fan heaters and convector heaters, irons, hair dryers and similar appliances, kettles, single cup water boilers, tea/coffee makers, toasters, toasted sandwich makers and other cooking devices. Larger domestic appliances such as refrigerators and microwave ovens are also forbidden.
Kitchen safety Boys in D block and below must only use House kitchen facilities whilst they are under the supervision of an adult.
Musical equipment Electric guitars, portable amplifiers and other electrically powered portable musical instruments must be used with a residual current device (RCD), preferably of the type that replaces the appliance plug.
Posters and pictures Must be securely fixed within the wooden frames of the notice boards using drawing pins. Items must not be suspended off picture rails or notice board frames.
Room lighting Bulbs must be of a standard type and those fitted to ceiling lights must not exceed 100 watts. Bedside and desk lamps must have substantial bases and suitably rated shades. Additional lights including home-made and novelty appliances such as lava lamps, require the approval of the House Master. Halogen type desk lamps must be used with extreme caution since their bulbs operate at very high temperatures and significantly increase risks of fire, particularly if left unattended in close proximity to combustible materials (bed linen, clothing or books).
Upholstered furniture and cushions Must comply with Government furniture and furnishing fire safety regulations. Items which meet the required standards will carry a permanently attached Government approved label (usually red or green in colour), confirming resistance to cigarettes and matches. Furniture must be free from fabric rips, tears or other damage which exposes inner filling materials.
Furniture must also be suitably sized to fit comfortably into a boy’s room, allowing sufficient space for cleaning of the surrounding floor area and giving unhindered access to fire escape routes.
Fire safety systems Boys must not tamper with any fire alarm, fire extinguisher or other facilities provided to protect the safety of residents.
Window safety Sitting on window sills or leaning out of any window opening, for example, to engage in conversation or as part of a game is prohibited. Any window restrictors/ restraints have been fitted in the interests of safety and must not be tampered with or removed.
Bicycles and Motor Vehicles Boys may only bring bicycles to Eton with their House Master’s prior permission and are then subject to the regulations laid down in section F of the School Rules. Boys are not normally permitted to keep or drive a car at School during the Half. It is particularly important to note that no boy may travel in any car driven by another boy.
Parents need to be aware that it is their responsibility to ensure that they have adequate insurance when transporting pupils other than their own sons to and from School events and that the House Master is aware of the arrangements made.