Updated: Sep 27
If you’re heading off to university for the first time, you’ll probably live in university accommodation or a halls of residence. Our checklists available in Member Resources provide a list of the exact items you should pack and are allowed in university accommodation, however, it is important to know about the prohibited items in university halls to avoid packing them and save time, heartache and expense.
You may see some of these items listed in packing lists posted by university students, or on social media, however, know that these are not officially allowed and you may be asked to remove them if the university security team undergo a spot check.
15 of the Most Common Prohibited Items from University Halls
Depending on the location of your university, rooms may get hot. Arm yourself with a hand held fan and avoid installing an air conditioner in halls of residence. They can be a fire hazard, take up too much space and require an outlet through a window or wall opening.
To keep cool during the summer months, keep your blinds and windows closed during the day and dress appropriately! Open the windows in the evening or first thing in morning to refresh the air in the room.
Candles or Incense Burners:
Do not take any type of wax burner, electric diffuser, candle or similar items to uni halls. They are strictly forbidden in all cases as they are a fire risk.
If you like a sweet-smelling room, take reed diffusers or an essential oil diffuser instead. Read our Tips on Creating the Perfect University Student Room Decor
Student rooms in Halls are usually provided with blinds, as curtains are deemed a fire hazard and must be fire retardant. Check with your Accommodation team before buying any, or use temporary blinds.
Ebikes & Scooters
These are not allowed in most university halls because they can be considered a fire hazard.
These regularly appear as a staple item featuring on packing lists for university and you may have them at home in your bedroom. However, plug-in fairy lights are considered a fire risk in university halls because of the risk they will overheat. Some places let you use battery operated lights, so long as they aren’t touching soft textiles in the room, such as the curtains, or fabric bedhead.
While it may get a little cold in winter, heaters are not allowed in most university halls as they are considered a fire hazard. Dress warmly, layer on the blankets, and get yourself a hot water bottle!
These lamps are not allowed in most university halls because they are a fire hazard.
Illegal drugs are against the law and can lead to expulsion from university.
Small electric kitchen appliances such as kettles, toasters, waffle-makers or electric ovens are considered a fire risk in your bedroom. However, most universities will let you bring them into a shared kitchen, or provide them for you.
Most universities ban mini fridges because of the risk they might overheat and cause a fire. If you need one in order to store prescribed medicine or items related to a medical need, write to the Accommodation department of your university to seek authorization before move-in day.
While you may miss Flopsy the bunny at home, pets are not welcome or permitted in university halls of residence, unless a medical condition requires the need for a support dog.
Most checklists – including ours - will recommend extension leads or multi-plug units, but it is important to get the right type. Universities are not keen on the cube or block adapters as they may overheat.
The recommended type to pack is a strip extension lead for a maximum of four plugs, and it must also have a fuse.
Weapons or dangerous items of any kind are not allowed in university halls.
Reasons Why Items are Prohibited in University Halls
The rules about prohibited items in university residences are based on safety. Electrical items that could potentially overheat and cause a fire are considered a safety risk and generally not allowed. The same is true for items that use a lot of electricity and have the potential to cause a power surge in the flat or building.
However, universities recognise that students will bring essential items such as televisions, laptops, hairdryers and more. These items are allowed but must meet certain standards, usually European standards - look out for the CE mark labelled on the cable or plug to see if your appliance is up to safety standards.
While some universities carry out room inspections and confiscate items that don't comply until they can be taken home, others never inspect rooms and allow students to use their items throughout the year. Ultimately, it's a personal decision whether or not to take the risk of using prohibited items.
If you need more help or guidance on how to navigate the transition from high school to university, check out our website. There you will find useful blogs, resources, and tips on how to help your children survive and thrive on campus.
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