New guidance for Scout HQs used for sleepovers


Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue service have issued some new advice for volunteers using Scout halls for sleepovers to ensure everyone remains safe.

These should help you when completing your risk assessment for the event. It remains important to contact the service if you are planning an event so they can prioritise any incident at a HQ when a sleepover is taking place. Tel: 023 8064 4000, email [email protected] or use the Contact Us page of their website.

Their advice is as follows:

Means of escape

  • Escape routes should be known to all and kept available while the building is occupied.
  • All fire exit doors should be easily openable from the inside without the use of a kay and remain free from obstruction.
  • Sleeping accommodation should be limited to ground floor only.

Raising the alarm

  • Where no fixed alarm system is in place, an improvised system such as a handbell or whistle should be provided for the stay.
  • Where no automatic smoke detection is in place, battery operated domestic smoke detectors should be provided as early warning.
  • Smoke detectors should be made in accordance with the current British Standard and installed in sleeping accommodation and on exit routes.
  • Where they are installed in Young People's accommodation, smoke alarms should be heard from the adults sleeping locations as well.


  • Where no emergency lighting is installed, a level of subdues lighting should be maintained during the whole period of darkness. This could be a lamp or night light marking an exit door for exmaple.
  • Two properly maintained battery lamps should be available in case of a lighting failure.

Fire extinguishers

  • All responsible persons should know where to find the fire extinguishers for the premises and how to use them correctly.
  • Where no fire extinguishers are provided, a 9 litre water extinguisher should be provided for every 200 square meters, supplemented with extra buckets of water where necessary.
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