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Accommodation: Disciplinary issues, proof of breach of regulations - PI091608

University of Bristol

A student at the University of Bristol complained to us about a penalty for smoking and covering a smoke detector. The student was fined, issued a written reprimand and required to attend a fire safety course. Her appeal had been dismissed.

The student had been called to a disciplinary meeting after a routine security patrol found a number of students smoking in her room, with the smoke detector covered. The security officer filed a detailed incident report the same day, noting that the students had uncovered the smoke detector before a photograph could be taken. The student appealed on the basis that there was no evidence that the smoke detector had been covered.

We decided that it was reasonable to rely on the security officer’s detailed written report in considering the case. The report made specific reference to the smoke detector and explained why it had not been possible to take a photograph.

The regulations were clear that any interference with smoke detectors would be reported. The penalties imposed on the student were within the range of available sanctions. We decided the student’s complaint was Not Justified.